After all these years with you fighting the good air quality fight, the difficult truth remains: Environmental advocacy is largely a David vs. Goliath situation. On one side of the fight, you have multi-million dollar – and sometimes even multi-billion dollar – companies with their slick corporate lawyers and robust public relations budgets. On the other side, you have residents and grassroots groups.
This Giving Tuesday, we’re humbling asking for your financial support. Here are seven reasons to give to GASP:
GASP helps ensure residents’ voices are heard. We made it our mission this year to help mobilize community members to speak out on air quality issues by helping to craft blogs, social media reports, and automatic forms to make submitting formal comments on things like Allegheny County Health Department’s newly approved (and improved) air quality fee schedule and Mon Valley Air Pollution episode rules. All totaled, GASP facilitated more than 700 public comments on these and other important air quality-related permits and regulations.
GASP keeps you in the know on all things air quality. Our team prides itself on keeping you updated when air quality is in the news – or should be. So far this year, we’ve crafted nearly 150 blogs, more than 900 tweets, and countless Facebook and Instagram alerts. Our advocacy extends beyond the 9-5, Monday through Friday work week: The GASP team keeps track of the data and the issues to keep you in the know.
GASP is a respected expert resource for local, state and national media. Speaking of air quality in the news…We work closely with our friends in the media, helping to provide expert analysis for nearly 50 news articles this year, including a story released just this past week that links air pollution exposure to increased incidence of mental health issues. While most of the press inquiries are from local and state reporters, GASP has even been sought out by national media outlets for our expert take on air quality matters.
GASP has legal expertise. Did you know that GASP has two full-time lawyers? We do! John and Ned keep tabs on the regs, the permits, and the data. They’re the ones who keep our Air Permits Clearinghouse up to date. They submit public information requests and conduct file reviews to obtain important documents that can be a tool for community activists and fellow advocacy groups alike. This year, John and Ned have reviewed dozens of quality-related permits, rules, and regulations, submitting formal public comments on many of those. Those public comments often lead to meaningful changes that result in less air pollution permitted to be emitted.
GASP does air quality education right. Despite ongoing COVID-19 protocols that prevented many indoor gatherings this year, GASP’s educators helped provide classrooms, libraries, and after-school programs with our popular air quality kits. We also hosted five (soon to be six) Clean Air Fair events to help kids understand what air pollution is, where it comes from, and how it impacts human and environmental health – but in a way that’s not boring or scary. Our kits feature things like real pig lungs and science experiments, and our Clean Air Fair events hosted by Dirty Girty the Poor Polluted Birdie, our brightly-colored, quirky mascot portrayed by the hilarious Dave English, a Pittsburgh puppeteer, educator and artist.
GASP is prudent with spending. Real talk: We’re always a little suspicious of nonprofits with palatial digs and a surplus of swag. GASP strives to use the money entrusted to us as prudent as possible, which means spending it on the cause – not on overhead. We keep it tight: GASP employs a small, scrappy team and while our offices are perfectly suitable, they’ll never be considered swanky (and we’re totally fine with that). ]
GASP has references to back all this up. Listen, we don’t want this list to come off as bragging. We’re not. Check out what our members have to say about our work and the difference it makes.
If you are able to make a donation, please know that we are so appreciative. As always, those who would like to make a donation through the Give Big Pittsburgh platform can do so here. You can also feel free to make a donation on our website. If you would prefer, our office manager Kathy Lawson can also process credit card donations over the phone – just email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not in a position to make a donation but still would like to support GASP? We cordially invite you to sign up to be a GASP volunteer, to bookmark our website at www.gasp-pgh.org for the latest on air quality issues, and to join the conversation by liking us on Facebook, and following us on Instagram, and Twitter.
We can’t say it enough: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Supporters like you have enabled GASP to be here for the long haul to help advocate for your right to clean air and a healthy, safe place to live. With your help, we’re looking forward to making even more strides for clean air in 2022.
Yours for Clean Air,
The GASP Gang