Help support The Lathrup Village Voice newsletter

Campaign Created by: Autumn Sousanis

The funds from this campaign will be received by Autumn Sousanis.

Monthly Goal: USD $750
Raised this month: USD $50
Total Raised: USD $ 1,505

This fund-raising campaign is asking for support to help cover the costs of printing and mailing The Lathrup Village Voice newsletter and other written communication to residents in Lathrup Village.

I'd like to send a batch of beautiful new invitations out to all of Lathrup Village to invite anyone interested to come join our Facebook group, The Lathrup Village Voice - the group that's got everyone talking and where discussion is encouraged! (Check out the newest update for more info.)

I'd also like to continue to print and mail out the Lathrup Village Voice newsletter.

Today, with censors limiting social media's content and reach, and with digital media content largely replacing old-fashioned and independent local print media, it seems to me that there is a real need for reconnection; a physical document to hold in one's hands that contains relevant local news, updates, reminders and announcements, as well as a place for voices in our community to be heard, with freedom of speech at it's core.

For these reasons I launched the Facebook group The Lathrup Village Voice in 2021 - and then, in Nov, 2023, I launched the print version by the same name.  As of this writing, I have now printed up and sent out FOUR months of the printed version - Hooray!

However, as one might imagine, the print version of The Lathrup Village Voice costs real money to have printed and then sent out. 

My main goal is to print and mail out a new newsletter every month, on (or as near as possible to) the first of the month.

I have been pondering how to sustainably finance this project and last month we were blessed with several donors and donations towards this cause, and that donated amount fortuitously covered the printing costs for 520 copies and then mailing out to a select section of Lathrup, roughly 450 houses, through the Post Office's 'Every Door Direct Mail'.

Currently, it costs roughly $400 for every 500 newsletters. (.80 cents each)

For the upcoming newsletter I'd love to be able to repeat last month's mailing, along with hoping to possibly enlarge the delivery area - but each delivery area is route predetermined by the Post Office, and each route is 350-500 houses, so I'm hoping to print and deliver that many more, but will be content to at least repeat last month's effort.

And that's where YOU come in. Will you join me in support of this effort to print and send out this newsletter?

My pledge to you is to be consistent and informative and to do my level best to create a lovely and entertaining local monthly newsletter that is germane to what is currently happening in the Village and at City Hall.

This fund-raising campaign is asking for support to help cover the costs of printing and mailing The Lathrup Village Voice newsletter to residents on 3 postal routes in Lathrup Village and hopefully reach just over 1450 residents, the largest mailing to date!

My larger goal *was* hoping to eventually be able to deliver this newsletter to *all* of Lathrup Village, and maybe even someday be a multiple paged paper with space to devote to other local voices and contributors - but perhaps moving to a subscription format that is mailed direct would be a more realistic goal for now? I do intend to keep this paper independently owned and operated, possibly register as a non-profit, and remain free of sponsors and advertisers if possible - but in the meantime, I'm simply hoping to add one more delivery area/USPS route, hoping to deliver to roughly 1450 houses in Lathrup.

Want to help do that?

Every donation, no matter how small, adds up!

Thank you so much for considering supporting this campaign's effort to provide this new newsletter to our Village.

Sincerely, Autumn Sousanis,

-Admin for The Lathrup Village Voice group on Facebook, and author/editor/publisher of the print version of The Lathrup Village Voice hoping to be delivered to your door, every month.


UPDATES

Update #5 Moving to a subscription and e-newsletter model
March 29, 2024
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Another month, another newsletter!

As I get ready to send the April edition of the newsletter to the printer, I'd like to thank all of the donors here for their generosity in helping the newsletter reach as many homes as we have - our largest printing and delivery effort was in February, to 1250 houses in Lathrup, and I could not have done that without your help! So, thank you! 

As much as I'd like to continue mass mailing Every Door Direct Mail and reaching people who may not be on Facebook and who still might not have any idea what's going on at City Hall, I'm afraid that funding for such an effort is too costly, as I would need at least $750 each month to sustain such an enterprise, so I'm scaling back to a subscription model for now, with plans to launch a (free) e-newsletter as I grow the email list.

If you'd like to make sure you receive a physical copy sent dirctly to your home, a donation of $24 will ensure that. If you have already donated, THANK YOU. I will send you a physical, printed copy of The Lathrup Village Voice every month, 12 months worth for every $24 donated, for as long as I can keep this going. 

I will also be e-mailing the same newsletter but in email format, as well as publishing it on Facebook like I've been doing and also figuring out how to publish it on it's own website, with it's own dedicated URL. 

Just a mom with big plans, big hopes, big dreams, and big love to all!

My prayer is that God grant me wisdom, discernment, and understanding - and may this project allow me to more fully serve God's purpose and perhaps help bring awareness and healing to our community.

<3

Thanks again,

-Autumn



Update #4 Invitations to 'The Facebook Group That's Got Everyone Talking!'
February 28, 2024
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Hello neighbor!

Check out these invitations: 5 x7 postcards, beautifully printed in color on cardstock with a satin finish. Both sides are printed, (this GiveSendGo site only allows one photo per update, the other side of the postcard is viewable on the Village Voice Facebook page, look for the image with little houses and trees along the bottom in a row, with speech bubbles above, containing relevant topics, as if the houses are talking. It's very cute, if I do say so myself).  Would you like to help mail these out to all of Lathrup Village to try and get more people "all on the same page?"

I am currently looking for the least expensive way to mail these postcards out - right now it looks like they will cost .55 cents each just to mail, hopefully I can find a better price, may need to purchase a mass mailing license, we shall see.

I am also looking for a data file of Lathrup residences, if you happen to have a mailing list you'd like to donate toward this cause that would be wonderful.

Let's get the word out that people here are talking on Facebook about local, relevant, current issues! Our page is rich with detailed documentation and accurate, verifiable information. Our focus is transparency and free speech is honored. My hope is to welcome all who wish to join and help newbies get up to speed with what's going on in City Hall and how our tax-payer money is being spent.

Wouldn't it be great if all your neighbors knew about our lively, informative group? Help spread the word with these lovely invitations! 

Every donation adds up, no donation is too small. Prayers are welcome!

Update #3
February 7, 2024
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Nearly ready to head out to the Post Office to mail out February's newsletter! As exciting as it is to get 1250 copies back from the printer, it is overwhelming to then still have to fold and double-sticker each one, and then count and prepare each numbered stack so that it can be accepted for mailing by the Post Office's EDDM service! It's a LOT of work that goes on behind the scenes! Many thanks to my impromptu team of helpers who rolled their sleeves up and helped out - you know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the generosity of your time! I could not have gotten it done so quickly without you, you ROCK! <3

Update #2
January 15, 2024
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Amazingly, we are nearly halfway through January AND more than halfway to our 2nd month's goal of $750! I'd like to be able to publish and mail out another thousand newsletters in February and this will make that possible! It's been an interesting journey so far, learning as I go, I suppose I should have anticipated that not everyone who received a newsletter would be delighted to receive it, or that several would ask to be put on the 'do not mail' list - the Post Office must expect some negative response to any mailing, which is why they provide paperwork to be filled out with the Every Door Direct Mailing service - but I can't help but feel a bit saddened that not everyone received the newsletter with the friendly, neighborly intention in which it was sent...

But on the bright side, the much more common response was overwhelmingly positive AND helped grow the membership to our Village Voice Facebook group to 251 members, so I'm definitely feeling like January's mailing was a success!

December's mailing covered almost 500 addresses in the Northeast corner of Lathrup Village, January's mailing added approximately 500 more addresses in central Lathrup, and for February I'm hoping to add as many addresses south of 11 mile as possible. We shall see how it goes. 

In the meantime, please take to heart my invitation to submit any news or letters to the editor, perhaps you would like to submit a guest column, essay, poetry, or original artwork - if you have something Lathrup Villag-y that you’d like to see in print, I’d like to make that happen, if possible. My overarching goal is to provide places to host/publish and amplify many Lathrup Village Voices, not just mine!

Thank you again, all you wonderful people for your generous contributions! I couldn't do this without you!

<3 Autumn


Update #1
January 2, 2024
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Thank you so much to all who have contributed so far! I’m delighted to report we have raised $550 so far - which exceeds(!) the smaller goal of repeating the first mailing to all the addresses on the original route as December’s mailing, (which was the 2nd edition of the newsletter, the first one was delivered by hand, and did not reach very many).

The Every Door Direct Mailing service offered by the Post Office is a much more efficient way to distribute but I am going to continue to search out less expensive options - but in the meantime -

🎉huzzah!🎉to all of you who are helping make this happen!!! 

I believe it’s really important to have access to local news and information/ communication within a community, and having an independent newsletter that is able to amplify resident’s voices may turn out to be more important than we might realize at this point in time, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping support this project in its fledgling stage!

So now the question is, will we be able to raise the last bit of cash to double the previous route to two routes (plus print twice as many)?  I’m going to try my best to make that happen - we shall see! 

The more addresses we can deliver to, the more hearts and minds we will hopefully reach…I pray this newsletter is received with the intent in which it is created - with ‘to love thy neighbor as thyself’ as its core value.

Thank you all again, 

Sincerely, Autumn Sousanis

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