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COUNCIL FOR UNITY INC's Fundraiser:

Council for Unity's Adopt A Kid Campaign

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BENEFITING: COUNCIL FOR UNITY INC

THE STORY:

Dear Alums and Friends of Council for Unity,

Today we kick off our Adopt A Kid/Adopt A Chapter Campaign as we approach the holiday giving period. The Council for Unity is nearing its 40th anniversary in another year. It's legacy is the stuff of dreams. From 6 original gang members in conflict and a threat to the well being of John Dewey HS and the surrounding community, today all of you can be proud to learn that our model is used in school systems, communities, law enforcement agencies and prisons in a network that extends from Buffalo to Riverhead as well as all 5 boroughs of NYC. Our high school graduation rate last year was 93% with challenged populations not reachable in traditional classroom environments. Just about the same amount goes to college

We get kids out of gangs and give them a second chance. We are a haven for kids who are bullied, and an opportunity for bullies to become guardians instead of victimizers. We welcome the immigrant and unify schools and communities in conflict. We restore the humanity of men and women who are in our Sing-Sing and Suffolk County Correctional Facility chapters. We are a family to kids who have no family support. In short we are force for caring and a beacon of hope for an army of young people who are rarely engaged by traditional educational or other support systems.

And we are grossly under funded in this cause. That's why we need your help. With all due respect to Governor Cuomo who had to take draconian measures in the face of an imploding economy, he slashed discretionary moneys from state politicians who previously supported us with a $150,000 allocation. That money is gone, and we have to find other means to compensate for this loss.

Here's the irony behind this. It costs $200,000 to incarcerate one youth in the state penal system. That same money could sustain 25 CFU chapters keeping a small army of gang involved youth from going to prison. We're the only charity I know that saves America money. Our kids graduate high school and go to college. They become tax payers instead of draining the tax base through incarceration.

Until the Justice Department wakes up and realizes this, we need your help, and I am personally appealing to you to join the fight.

You can adopt one kid for as little as $60. If you have the means, you can adopt an entire chapter for $1,800. For the last several years, a good friend, Richard Hart, Jack Hart's son, has graciously donated $5,000. Any thing between these numbers will be profoundly appreciated.

To give texture to all the claims I made here, please visit our web site at www.councilforunity.com and click on Mission, Media and Poetry. When you click on Poetry, you will hear Dajuan Hawkins recite his poem that pretty much summarizes the profound impact of CFU on a troubled kid's life.

Every kid or chapter you sponsor will write you a personal letter at the end of the year cataloging how your support helped this child or this chapter transform.

This is a very pivotal battle in a world where many people would rather build more prisons and hire more cops than prevent a kid from going bad in the first place. I've had some really bad days when I wondered if this is all worth it. The loneliness is numbing. No one's out there. Than I go visit a school or a prison, and I realize I can't give up. We're saving lives.

Please help in this effort. Your contribution is tax deductible as CFU is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization.

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