A few months ago, AppDirect kicked off its philanthropic outreach initiative when we traveled to GLIDE Memorial Church in San Francisco to serve meals to local community members. Recently, a handful of team members volunteered at another local non-profit, The Beat Within.
Founded in 1996, The Beat Within is a global organization that strives to give incarcerated youth a creative voice, specifically to "provide incarcerated youth with consistent opportunity to share their ideas and life experiences in a safe space that encourages literacy, self-expression, and supportive relationships with adults in their community." Every week, The Beat holds workshops in California county juvenile halls, and every two weeks the group selects a handful of inspirational and thought-provoking pieces to publish in its bi-weekly volumes. The magazines are available at the Beat headquarters, through subscription, or online PDF.
As volunteers, we read original works submitted by young men and women from across California. Then, we typed them into documents to send along to one of The Beat’s editors. “Reading such raw, personal pieces of writing really altered my perspective,” says AppDirect team member Alex Rohrbach. “Their words are a testament to the idea the good writing comes from the heart, which in this case, often isn’t the easiest place to be.”
For us, the opportunity to help young people share their stories was refreshing and inspiring. The Beat Within is always looking for volunteers, so contact them and help out; we hope you'll find the experience as meaningful as we did.
Calum Beedling is a marketing intern at AppDirect.