Looking at the remainder of 2020 and trying to peer into 2021, what I see is a great, nebulous unknown. We do not know what our health climate will be like, what restrictions we will face, or when we will be able to have face-to-face meetings with confidence that we are not passing COVID-19 among our friends in the Esperanto community.
However, we do know many things. We are still a vibrant Esperanto community. We now have greater awareness of our communication tools, and we are using them more effectively. We have friends that we like to connect with. We want a stronger Esperanto community in the United States.
We want stronger local groups. We have several clubs that are quite active, and we have some that are facing challenges getting established. There is help available. In recent years there is a new force at work in support of local groups.
That force is the network of regional coordinators. They are here to help our local Esperanto groups of all sizes. You can read more about the regional coordinators in this issue of Usona Esperantisto. Fred Meyer and others are doing some transformational work supporting local groups. The regional coordinators are a team of volunteers who are dedicated to connecting with you, listening to you, helping you, and providing you with resources.
Resources. Remember that word.
We want a stronger youth contingent. We have a good group of youth leaders. They were recently trained in Chicago in an event called VEK, la Vintra Esperanto-Klerigado. It was the winter Esperanto training for youth with a focus on how to plan and hold events. That was a very successful meeting for USEJ, Usona Esperantista Junularo. That meeting required resources. Resources.
We would like to have more events, even regional events, and enable more people to come to them who would not be able to come were it not for available funding from outside resources. Many people have inspiring stories about how meaningful the events are for them and their experiences in Esperantoland.
Resources for local groups, the youth, and Esperanto events do not come from the general budget of Esperanto USA. We are doing well enough to be a stable organization, but do not have financial margin to provide additional resources for many worthy projects such as clubs, youth, and events.
Having the needed resources for projects helps shore up the projects that are vital to the Esperanto community in the United States. Our local groups, our youth, and our events are crucial components of our core being. What we do now in 2020 and 2021 will have an effect for years to come, and it is up to us to rise to the occasions when the call is evident. We will need to continue to fund these projects as much as we can.
Where have the funds come from, and where will they continue to come from? We wish we had enough members and enough direct contributions to provide money for these worthy causes, but right now in 2020 we do not have it.
Fortunately, we do have the opportunity to participate again with the Esperantic Studies Foundation (“ESF”) in a matching campaign. The campaign is simply Esperanto in the USA. And it works. Due to COVID-19 we have not given it the necessary attention so far in 2020, but the matching funds are still available!
ESF matches dollar for dollar our contributions to the campaign up to $15,000. We have only just begun to contribute to the 2020 campaign, so please donate now before the end of the year so we can take advantage of the generous offer from ESF!
On our website (under About us → Support) we will update the contribution amount through to the end of the 2020 campaign. If you can donate $100 to this campaign, it will be doubled to $200! And, of course, you get the tax deduction for the $100. A $3000 donation would be doubled so that Esperanto USA would receive $6000, and so forth, up to a limit of 15,000 total for the matching funds.
We will not add your name to the list of donors without your permission. Please consider helping Esperanto clubs, youth, and events to be the best they can be with your matched donation.