My friend Mark Horvath runs one of the only homelessness advocacy organizations in the country, InvisiblePeople.tv. He’s giving a voice to people most of us choose to ignore. Mark is the ideal person for this work, because he was once homeless himself. Mark’s birthday is this week and he needs your help.
Every year Mark does a single big fundraiser around his birthday that provides a big chunk of his donations for the year. In reality, Mark is supporting much of the work of InvisiblePeople.tv himself, through consulting and speaking fees. About 80% of InvisiblePeople.tv’s funding comes from Mark. The other 20% comes from donations, mostly in this big fundraiser.
First, it’s incredible that Mark gives so much of himself to this cause.
Second, it’s incredible that donations only bring in about 20%. Mark shouldn’t have to hustle so hard to keep InvisiblePeople.tv going. And right now, his campaign has two days left and he still needs $3,700 to hit his goal. That 20% is kind of pathetic. And we’re barely making it right now.
So please donate.
Mark is doing some incredible and much needed awareness work with InvisiblePeople.tv. He captures the stories of homeless people in honest, brutal videos. They’re hard to watch. Because people want to ignore them. We want to write off homeless people, come up with excuses for why we shouldn’t help them (and in the worst cases, take selfies instead of help them). But if we understood what homeless people have gone through, what they’re up against, we’d change our tune (like Dennis, who admits, “I used to make fun of the homeless until I became one.”). Most people believe homeless people have no redeeming value. That’s horrible. And it needs to change. Mark is making it change.
I’ve been supporting Mark and his work since the beginning. I helped publish the Open Our Eyes: Seeing the Invisible People of Homelessness book that supports Mark’s work. I’ve interviewed him for Church Marketing Sucks and Foursquare, sharing his story of being homeless and nearly becoming homeless again in 2008, when he launched InvisiblePeople.tv after being laid off. Earlier this year I ran a half-marathon to support Mark, ultimately raising more than $700 and barely managing to finish (13 miles is tough and I needed all the support I could get).
So I’m asking you to support Mark’s work, give to his birthday campaign. Let’s raise that 20% and then some.