by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor
LANSING, Ill. (January 24, 2021) – I reported earlier that January is my birthday month. I’ve been “giving” this month to The Lansing Journal to generate birthday gifts that will fund our efforts to provide community news.
As my actual date of birth approaches (the 25th), I want to let you know what we’ve accomplished together this month.
Birthday gifts from you
As of this writing, community members have contributed approximately $2,000 in “birthday gifts” to The Lansing Journal. (The number is approximate because not all donations were specifically designated as birthday gifts.) Our goal is $5,000—that amount would allow us to increase coverage in a specific area, like local sports or local school district news.
Birthday gifts from The Lansing Journal
Throughout the month, The Lansing Journal continued giving as well:
- The gift of awareness. On January 5, we published Carrie Steinweg’s important story about St. Ann School. Her reporting made readers—including many alumni—aware of the need.
- The gift of information. On January 6, Jennifer Yos’s detailed explanation of Sunnybrook contract negotiations gave District 171 families balanced, accurate information. No other news source did the investigating that The Lansing Journal did.
- The gift of attention. On January 8, Josh Bootsma wrote a follow-up to his in-depth article about the spike in property taxes that could drive businesses out of Lansing. Josh’s writing got the attention of the Cook County Assessor’s Office. We’re waiting to see what happens.
- Lansing businesses weigh options as property taxes spike (December 2020 article)
- Village Administrator offers suggestions for businesses facing drastic property tax increases (January 2021 article)
- The gift of community support. On January 10, this fundraiser reached its first milestone on Facebook: $1,000 in birthday gifts from 22 people in our Facebook community. That’s a great start!
- The gift of community pride. On January 13, I got a little teary-eyed as I re-watched a video about the unique, community-building stories The Lansing Journal publishes. Lansing residents have so many reasons to be proud of this community! Without The Lansing Journal, these stories would remain untold and unknown. (The link also includes a transcript if you prefer to read rather than watch.)
- The gift of responsiveness. On January 14, a community member gave us information about break-ins at three businesses on Burnham Avenue. Because we are part of the community, we could respond quickly and personally.
- The gift of reach. On January 16, we received gifts from people who don’t even live in Lansing. The notes they included confirm that The Lansing Journal is a quality newspaper respected beyond our village limits.
- The gift of historical record. On January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Josh published an amazing account of a current Lansing resident who was part of the civil rights movement. The Lansing Journal has now created a record of Sharon Giles’ history for future generations.
Each of these stories is a gift to our community of readers. Not a birthday gift, but a gift we give every single day. This kind of reporting takes hours and hours of interviewing, researching, writing, organizing, and editing—and our local journalists are so generous about doing it.
You, me, us
Many of you have told me how important The Lansing Journal is to you—for all the reasons listed above, and more. It’s not just a source of information; it’s a connection.
It costs money to produce this free newspaper. The expenses are mundane but necessary—web hosting, email delivery, software, and occasionally ink and paper. Gifts from our readers help cover those costs.
So today, in honor of my actual birthday, will you give a gift to The Lansing Journal?
You could sign up as a monthly supporter at any amount you choose:
Can’t give monthly? We still need your support. Consider a one-time gift in honor of my birthday:
Or mail a check to The Lansing Journal, PO Box 742, Lansing IL 60438.
Thank you for helping me celebrate my birthday. Thank you for sustaining The Lansing Journal with your birthday gifts. This is important work, and I want to see it thrive for many years to come!