While working with teens, one thing I’ve learned is that no matter their differences, they all go through so much in life. Some more than others. That’s why I’m preparing to give away Stories of Hope to 10,000 teens living in the top 10 deadliest cities in America this summer. My name is Eric, and I am the creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™.

Stories of Hope was written by teens who accessed my Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program in cities around the US. Like the caterpillar whose cathartic change becomes the most beautiful of butterflies, Stories of Hope will leave the teens that read it inspired and changed, like their peers that penned the book.

To tour all 10 cities in 5 weeks, I will need the following in funding:
$31,400 Books, Bookmarks and Fliers
$2,200 Van Rental
$2,700 Food & Lodging for 5 weeks
$900 Fuel
Total: $37,200 ($3.72 sponsors 1 teen)

To help me meet my goal, I’ve created a GoFundMe page. Will you be a part of the Writing for the Soul process? For your donation of any amount, I’ll send you a free Stories of Hope eBook. I’ll also send you updates while on tour. My first stop will be Memphis, TN beginning on July 9, 2018. I need initial funding in the amount of $3,700 by June 18, 2018 to meet this goal. 

No child is born “bad.” Hurting people hurt people. Be a part of our Writing for the Soul process by making a donation today.

2018 Summer of Hope Book Tour FAQ’s

Why did I create Writing for the Soul Workshop? Because writing changed my life. I knew that writing could help others too, and I was right. To date, the program has prevented 6 teen suicides that I know of.
My first participants were Crips and Bloods.  It wasn’t the differences that brought them together, it was the pain.  Watching them write for me made me realize this one thing …writing could actually, literally, set them free. Free from the mental agony of guilt, shame and so much more. I watch as it happens every time a teen shares their story with the others during the program. Indicators include behavioral changes, better grades, abstaining from drug use and more.
You can download my free eBook “My Life in Five Words: Writing for the Soul Workshop™ at www.writingforthesoulworkshop.org to learn more.

Who are you and why are you qualified to do what you do?

Eric is CEO of TGIM Digital Publishing and founder of Writing for the Soul Workshop™. He has successfully completed Texas Department of Criminal Justice Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training, Texas Department of State Health Services Peer Recovery Coach Training and Turning Points Parenting Curriculum by Caring for Kids of The Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center.

What is Writing for the Soul Workshop™?

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is not your average writing program. Our focus is not academics, yet students who access our program begin to do better academically. When engaged, the writing program becomes a safe haven for writers to identify what they’re feeling on the inside, and to write about why they feel that way. Misspelled words and all.

Why do this, and how will it impact teens who receive a copy of the book?

Teens make up 13% of our nation, and millions of them have no clue that a writing program like ours even exists, simply because it isn’t offered in their community. Most of them have never even traveled outside of their community.  Taking copies of Stories of Hope to teens living in at-risk communities allows us to expose them to Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as well as how to access it online at no cost. When teens engage our program, in a city, the juvenile crime rate declines and property values go up.

Why the heck should people give you money for this?

Offering a program like this requires an annual operating budget of $193,700. Because we are a business with the heart of a non-profit, we do not pass on those costs to students. Our program offers better educational outcomes than school alone. As the Will Stegerson foundation reminds us, “In order to reach a kid, you’ve got the meet them where they are. And if you can meet them where they are, then you can take them somewhere else.” So many of them feel hopeless. This is what a student who submitted her story in Stories of Hope shared: “I can’t remember the last time someone told me they loved me. They appreciate me. Or that they care. I don’t trust people. I don’t know how.” -Stories of Hope

What will happen when you reach your goal of $37,200?

After reaching our goal, our first stop will be at the Foote Homes housing projects in Memphis, TN on July 9, 2018. 

Foote Homes is a legendary landmark, and is the last remaining housing project in Memphis, TN. We’ll set up a booth for teens to get a book, bookmark, flyer and access our program on the spot. We will document it using video, and send it along with a personal “Thank you.” message to all of our donors.
Our target audience is teens living in at-risk communities in the Top Ten Most Dangerous Cities over 200,000 according to Law Street for 2017. So, during the tour we’ll partner with grassroots youth organizations on the ground to meet these teens right where they’re at. Here is a schedule of cities and dates:
1. Memphis 7/9/2018 – 7/13/2018 Ranked #4
2. St. Louis 7/16/2018 – 7/20/2018 Ranked #1
3. Kansas City 7/23/2018 – 7/27/2018 Ranked #8
4. Birmingham 7/30/2018 – 8/3/2018 Ranked #3
5. Detroit 8/6/2018 – 8/10/2018 Ranked #2
6. Milwaukee 8/13/2018 – 8/17/2018 Ranked #5
7. Baltimore 8/20/2018 – 8/24/2018 Ranked #6
8. Indianapolis 8/27/2018 – 8/31/2018 Ranked #10
9. Stockton  9/3/2018 – 9/7/2018 Ranked #9
10. Oakland  9/10/2018 – 9/14/2018 Ranked #7

What will you do with the money if you do not reach your goal?

If we are not successful in reaching our goal, whatever funds we raise will be used to begin our 2018 Summer of Hope Tour. We will tour until the funding is exhausted and last copy of Stories of Hope given away. We have raised enough to begin our Tour and we believe that donations will pick up once we begin our work in Memphis, Tennessee.

What impact will this have on society?

2018 has already offered an emotional punch for everyone in our society, especially our teens. They witnessed the largest mass school shooting in history, and some of them didn’t make it. Our country seems more emotionally charged than in times past, and our youth need social emotional skills to cope with these emotions. It is clear to us that for them, expressive writing has some clear emotional and psychological benefits. Benefits that along with education, will prepare them for the 21st Century Workforce and to deal with life on life’s terms. Hurting people hurt people, and they take out their pain on the world around them. Imagine a program for teens that helps to make the hurting stop. That is our impact on society.

What testimonials have you had in the past?

“This workshop is incredible!!” -Jeffery Powell, North County Recreation Complex Manager in St. Louis
“It was fun to watch the kids get excited about writing as they learned about how to get what’s on the inside out.” -Duane Gruis, United Cerebral Palsy Heartland
“I liked this workshop because the workshop it gave me a chance to express my feelings through writing.” – Nate
“I liked the workshop because I got to express myself and hear Eric’s story.” – Daelyn

“What I liked about this is the writing because I love to write poetry and I always wanted to write a book about my life.  I get to express my feelings on paper and someone has the curiosity to read how I feel deep within me.  I loved everything about it.” – Aujanae

“I liked the workshop because I got to express what I feel on paper and our work is published and other people’s stories may be similar to my story” – MaKayla

“One of the great things about this Writing for the Soul program is that it gives you control over your emotions. You don’t express those things in unhealthy ways. You do it in healthy and productive ways by writing it all out.” -Dr. Stevie Dawn, Emotional Intelligence Expert

Can I make a Tax deductible donation instead of using GoFundMe?

Donate Today

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Click the link to make a secure online donation, or mail checks made out to Fractured Atlas to: TGIM Digital Publishing, 1617 Park Place Ave, Suite 110-TGIM, Fort Worth, TX 76110.

TGIM Digital Publishing is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ Rating and recipient of the BBB Gold Star Award. Have questions? We’d be happy to answer them, simply use the Contact Form below.

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