I just want to thank you.

This blog was originally posted on our Kickstarter campaign.

Dear Villagers,

The Avalon Village is becoming a reality! This morning, at 6:04am, we leaped across the finish line together with $243,691 raised from 1,511 backers – exceeding our goal by $1,791. We did it. Together. 

7d8b05fcb2c3bca96ea5a0313093eb15_originalThis dream of building a safe space for our children and neighbors was born out of the tragedy of my son’s death nine years ago, when I had to decide whether to fall into despair or to rise up to honor Jakobi Ra’s memory by creating peace and love. Today, you all confirmed for me that I made the right decision. Thank you so very much.

This is just the beginning of so many dreams coming true. With your donations, volunteer hours, and messages o
f support you have given hope to hundreds here in Highland Park and Detroit. Avalon Village is already buzzing with workers. They’re laying concrete where our shipping container installations will sit. They’re gutting the blighted, empty house that we’ll soon fill up with desks, books, teachers and chefs who will feed the minds and the bellies of our youth. They’re trimming the grass and clearing debris on abandoned lots where athletes will soon play on activity courts and urban farmers will grow fresh foods year-round in greenhouses. Your donations allow us to fulfill this commitment to our neighborhood.

Over the next few months, we’ll be sending you updates as we ramp up construction on the village. We’re also always looking for volunteers to join us here for clean-up days, our summer outdoor youth sleepover ‘Hood Camp’, or online volunteering of your tech or design skills. You can join our volunteer e-blast to receive our newsletter and stay up on all the local happenings and volunteer opportunities here at the village.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. But some of our villages are broken. They’re incapable right now of providing the love and nurturing our kids need to grow. That’s why we created Avalon Village: to show on just one block of one city that another kind of living is possible. And we believe this idea is so simple and powerful that it can’t help but spread across our broken city into other neighborhoods in need of healing.

We are so excited to build this village with you. We are going to transform this blight into beauty and lift up the spirits of so many downtrodden people in our great city. This is a marathon, not a sprint: we are committed for the long haul to this work of resurrecting hope from the dark chapters of the past. We can’t wait to work in partnership with you to build a future we can all be safe and joyful in.

Peace and love,

Shamayim SHU Harris



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