Over the last month, reporters from NPR's National Desk have taken a journey across America to hear from people about their experiences living in this economy for a special series called Hard Times .
One of the stops during the trip was the Free Arts of Arizona domestic violence shelter in Phoenix which helps families in distress heal through art therapy. The nonprofit has been forced to reduce staff and services because of budget cuts and limited donations resulting from the poor economy.
After the story aired on Weekend Edition in November, Sam Sanders, the reporter, got a note from Barbara DuVal Fenster, the executive director of Free Arts. It reads, in part:
My management staff and I were in a budget meeting, trying to figure out how we were going to survive this next year. As you know from the story you did about us, we are struggling with the economy, and things look bad.
We were interrupted by an assistant who handed us a letter from a Charles Schwab office half way across the country. The letter said that after hearing the NPR story about us, one of their clients wanted to make an anonymous donation to us. The check was enough erase our deficit and put some money back in the bank!
Sam, you and NPR saved us!
We are now out of the red, have money back in our savings, and while we still have an uphill battle next year, we can start from scratch.
Thank you, Barbara, for sending the follow up. It's great to know you'll be able to continue your good work and a joyful reminder of the way that stories NPR shares can connect people.