YES! Donor Spotlight
YES! could not survive without the people who sustain our stories. It is because of our powerful community of supporters that we are able to continue commissioning, publishing, and printing journalism that shows the world we need and deserve is possible. Our supporters are the reason we are able to keep our digital content completely free—with no paywall—because there shouldn’t be a price on accessing the solutions that will build an equitable, sustainable, and compassionate world. No matter where we each are located, our YES! community remains powerfully connected over our shared commitment to keep solutions stories alive.
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A close look at the real-world impact our donors make.
When Tom Tresser asked YES! if we could send him a box of copies of YES! Magazine years ago, we were delighted. That’s because Tom—a longtime YES! reader, subscriber, and donor—has also been an instructor with i.c.stars, a program working to “activate a technology community of change agents to power social and economic freedom,” for ten years.
“The program picks 20 interns for a four-month, paid period called a ‘Cycle,’” Tom says. During that time, the interns learn technology skills, how to build their resumes, networking, and team building, and pitch clients on technology projects. He continues, “One of the most important missions of the organization, beyond placing its graduates into well-paying IT and tech jobs, is to build up a cadre of 10,000 community leaders—people of color who have good jobs, own their homes, and are devoted to giving back.”
Tom was hired at the program’s Chicago location to teach “Civics 101.” His course covers topics such as civic engagement, community organizing, and civic context, as they relate to Chicago and broader society. He felt that YES! Magazine issues were a nifty tool in having interns focus on a particular social issue, researching it, and thinking creatively about solutions.
[YES! is] a monthly dose of powerful and practical optimism in an increasingly bleak American civic landscape.”
“YES! is a useful resource for civic engagement and community leadership, and does analysis and reporting on neglected but critical parts of public life in America,” says Tom. In 2019, the interns within Cycle 44 of i.c.stars read and selected an article from a YES! Magazine issue, then created a final presentation around that article’s topic. “Interns read the issue and are exposed to new and sometimes radical thinking on pressing social issues—expanding their civic imaginations while teaching about the issues being explored in the magazine,” he explains.
Since then, Tom has continued to infuse YES! Magazine into his civics curriculum and student assignments. His idea became a practice—even during the COVID-19 pandemic, though Tom did not pass out physical issues to interns, he directed them to a digital issue on YES!’s website.
“Democracy stands on a knife’s edge in America,” Tom says. “[YES! is] a monthly dose of powerful and practical optimism in an increasingly bleak American civic landscape.”
Keeping Solutions Stories Alive
Generous readers share why they give, from the farmlands of Hawai‘i to the small villages of New York.
Honomū, Big Island, Hawai‘i
Media, especially social media, is very good at getting us to react. Making us reflect and gain different perspectives is much harder—this is what YES! is good at.”
Ravi started an orchard from bare land on Big Island in 2017, growing bananas to supply to local grocery stores and farmers markets. He was volunteering at a Mother Earth News Fair years ago when he noticed a YES! booth across the way. Usually, Ravi doesn’t subscribe to magazines. But once he read some sample YES! Magazine stories, he made an exception. “Longevity of this work is important to me, not just for my lifetime but for generations to come,” says Ravi. “And I know that supporting this work takes many hands. If you believe in the longevity of the ideas expressed in YES! and you are capable of helping, inaction will be a wasted opportunity for everyone. Let us all make the necessary investment toward making this world fairer, more just, and a joyful place to live! Each of us can make a difference.”
Katherine Macomber Millman
Port Townsend, Washington
YES! is a beacon or a North Star. [It] is a glimpse into the future as much as it shows what is happening in the present.”
Katherine has practiced body-centered healing for more than 30 years. Before that, she worked in social activism and collectivism around domestic violence and sexual violence. “I moved into bodywork because that’s where violence is experienced. I believe that as we awaken to our own embodied sense of place, purpose, and possibilities, we become part of the great collective improvisation, birthing a new and better world.” For Katherine, YES! Magazine was a favorite as soon as she began reading it. “We talk about how we’d like the world to be,” she says, “but YES! takes those possibilities and brings them down to Earth. It says, ‘These things are really happening in these places.’ It says, ‘This is what we mean when we say we want a more just, beautiful, kind, and fun world,’ and it shows us how we can get there.”
YES! nourishes me. It helps me maintain a sense of optimism and provides me with an array of ideas on the way forward. If I’m living, YES! should as well!”
Rita is an artist who often fuses political and environmental messages into her creations. An artwork of hers was included in the 102nd issue of YES! Magazine, and called for us to live more lightly on the planet by acquiring second-hand goods, swapping, repairing, and borrowing with others instead of buying things new. Though retired from paid work, Rita continues to contribute to her community in many ways, from serving on the Seattle Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, to volunteering at food banks and leading grief support groups. She has been reading YES! Magazine since its inception. “YES!’s nourishing good news is not just white, but also Black, Brown, Indigenous, and from other parts of the world,” says Rita. “We inhabit the same corner of the universe, so our meeting was inevitable!”
YES! provides content that informs and inspires me to write new and engaging curriculum…and revisit my teaching practice and pedagogy.”
Lyndsay is an elementary school teacher who teaches fourth and fifth grade. She often uses articles and artwork from YES! Magazine in her work. “Accessibility to honest and diverse media is something I feel very strongly should be protected. Young people have such a reliance on media to understand the world around them and perspectives other than their own,” Lyndsay says. “They will need media sources that inspire them in the future. YES! is thinking about the creative ways that readers can visually and audibly experience the stories if reading might not be their first choice, or might not even be accessible to them.”
Hilton, New York
I see YES! on the cutting edge of human evolution—facilitating the development of a more positive world through mutual problem solving and lifting up great ideas at the local level. The world needs that work and that vision.”
In 2021, David bought 300 copies of YES! Magazine as part of his “seeding” project—where he gives copies away for free to spread good news throughout his local community. He has left the magazines in coffee shops, free libraries, office waiting rooms, and in the hands of people interested in the topics YES! covers. “I’m making it up as I go!” says David. But how his project began was no small thought. “I am a psychiatric social worker in private practice,” he explains. “People come to see me who are anxious and depressed. Many have lost a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives…With YES!, I can say, ‘Maybe you’d want to check out this magazine. There are a lot of good ideas in here about how we can make the world a better place by working together.’” YES! Magazine, David says, allows him to move beyond “pie-in-the-sky psychobabble” and give those who seek his care real-life examples of how people find meaning and purpose in their lives by working with others.
To all of our generous supporters, including our Founders’ Circle, Legacy Circle, and Dedicated Friends, and all of our readers:
Thank you for sustaining the stories that will inform our futures. Thank you for including YES! in your will to make sure solutions stories exist for generations to come. Thank you for holding onto our stories, sharing them, and keeping our journalism a part of a world in dire need of it.
Thank you for helping YES! thrive.
Donated but don’t see yourself? Don’t worry! Our Donor Spotlight will be routinely updated. If you haven’t already told us why you give, stay tuned. Opportunities to share your story are coming soon.