Earlier this month, Whats Up's founder and main main Jay Swoboda appealed to the public for moral and financial support. Without both, Swoboda planned to shut down the social justice publication after a decade as the voice of St. Louis' homeless population.
The magazine's financial goal was to raise $5,000, but generating a renewed human investment of dedicated volunteers to help write and operate Whats Up was much more vital for its long-term success. Late yesterday afternoon, Swoboda contacted us with the final numbers of
the fundraiser, and the future looks very bright indeed.
"We reached $5,000 and much more," Swoboda reports by email. Whats Up's official tally stands at "$4,556 collected with $1,725 pledged. This brings us to $6,281 raised in 50 days! Our new goal: $7,000 in 70..." $2,000 of the money will go to pay off Whats Up's outstanding debts, while the bulk of it will be invested in the vendor program and future issues.
On the people front, Swoboda's faith in the citizens of St. Louis was rewarded by a large uptick in volunteers. "Last count was 18 new volunteers, including a volunteer editor-in-chief and vendor coordinator which were two major unfilled positions. Yes, we ARE continuing and hope to have our 10th anniversary issue out by the end of February," Swoboda promised.
Look for vendors with badges and a renewed sense of purpose on the streets in a few weeks. And remember that it's never too late to help. You can still donate (906 Olive Street, suite 1212; 314-241-7744 or www.whatsupstl.com) and volunteer for as long as Whats Up continues -- which hopefully, will be quite a while yet.