Last week I heard Rip Rapson, President and CEO of Kresge Foundation, speak about the role of philanthropy in rebuilding Detroit (full text: Expanding Opprotunities in America’s Cities). I was struck by how very much Detroit sounded like Appalachia. He is describing the urban post-industrial America, but in the rural coal mountains, this economic decay got a head start.
And then, as luck would have it, I saw this Op-Doc from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/opinion/west-virginia-still-home.html?_r=0
The truth is that the coalfields powered the steels mills that built Detroit. Now, I’m in no way challenging that Detroit is a place in desperate need of America’s generosity. But Appalachia is a disenfranchised “Detroit” that doesn’t belong to any one geographic jurisdiction, and it has been left behind.
It’s also true that Appalachia is a case study in How Not To Give for philanthropists. Many generous souls gave their money, time, and spirit to making Appalachia a better place to live without a good plan for what would work.
And that is where Fahe comes in. We make sure resources get to local nonprofits and people in need to craft their own solutions that make Appalachia a better place to live. Clean water, warm homes, good paying jobs, and more. Learn more about Fahe by visiting the About Fahe page.