Dear Mish Leadership,
Your philanthropic work is truly admirable. Your work as a group and individually really reflects our school’s mission statement because all of you involved are most definitely powers for good in the world.
While I personally admire your work I would like to share some concerns I have about the inclusivity of your organization. A lot of your work is centered around raising funds for organizations that help others. MISH asks students to graciously donate money, and while many students and their families have disposable income and the ability to donate money, I think MISH should be mindful that 25 percent of the students in this school receive financial aid. These financial aid students don’t have the same disposable income that others in this school have. Participating in these MISH fundraisers allows our students to feel as though they are a part of the community by bringing everyone together with the universal feeling that we’re all contributing to a good cause and being powers for good in the world. That feeling of community is beautiful and important as it is the foundation of our school, but that sense of community is only for the 75 percent of students who are of higher socioeconomic status. These events exclude the 25 percent of students, because they may not have the money to participate in these community building and strengthening events and fundraisers.
I suggest that MISH finds more ways for financial aid students to be able to be a part of what this organization does without donating money. I understand that it could potentially pose difficulties to find places and organizations Masters students can volunteer at as we are still living in a pandemic. I also understand that MISH has begun to create volunteer opportunities with the recent trip to the Cottage School in Pleasantville, but nevertheless, I ask that you keep trying to find these volunteer opportunities. What I also suggest is that you rigorously advertise volunteer opportunities publicly via Morning Meeting, email, social media, and any other ways you communicate with the community.
Before I end, I would just like to reiterate what I said in the beginning of this letter. What you have done throughout the years has helped countless lives and this is in no way discouraging fundraisers. I understand that money is a part of the solution but it’s still a part of the problem. I ask is that MISH be more mindful of 25 percent of our student body’s financial circumstances by creating opportunities to act in philanthropic ways without just raising funds.
And for all students: when we are able to volunteer in future MISH-sponsored events, we show up. It is often in the showing up where the most transformation happens.