Apparently, some folks still don't know what it is that I do with my time and the donations that trickle in to OnceFallen.com. I do many things-- travel to testify against bad legislation or engage in other hands-on projects, run my website and an inmate newsletter (ICoN), and answer hundreds of letters, calls and emails. All of this stuff costs money, of course, and thus, donations help offset the costs. I am a one-man operation with no staff, Board of Directors or tax forms to deal with, which frees me to try many projects other groups can't (or won't) do. The fact that support for OnceFallen.com has grown exponentially over the past two years has encouraged me to increase my efforts.
It isn't exactly bragging to mention all I have done in the past year, because people who support OnceFallen.com should be able to see where their support goes. Thus, for all who are curious, here is my Annual Report of OnceFallen's work in 2016.
From 291 different individuals (135 by mail, 103 phone, 40 by letter, 13 by phone text, and some from private messages on various websites). Many of these inquiries were of multiple responses.
Individuals corresponded from 37 states plus DC, Puerto Rico and 3 nations (US, UK, and Australia). The states with the largest number of inquiries were New York (29), Florida (27), Ohio (22), Alabama (21), Texas (TX) and California (17). 35 inquiries did not identify their place of residence. States represented: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, Fl, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY. As standard procedure I direct them to state affiliate groups where one exists as well as directing them to national groups like SOSEN and NARSOL for support and further info.
Most inquiries are from registrants or loved ones of registrants; however, I received roughly 40 or so inquiries from college students, journalists, and others who are not registrants. OnceFallen.com made 14 Media Appearances, including two episodes of HLN's Dr Drew show. Not all my media inquiries lead to an appearance. Some ask for specific types of registrants or simply want some information.
In total, I received 121 letters in the mail in 2016. Many were inmate inquiries, and many asked for ACSOL's 50 state registration/ residency restriction chart of the relief from the registry fact guide from the CCRC, which are up to 20 printed pages each. I request inmates who can do so offset the costs by sending a SASE with 2 stamps for these spreadsheets, but not all can afford them. A few letters came from those not incarcerated but who were either unable to use computers or were not computer savvy.
The Corrlinks newsletter has 156 subscribers at the end of 2016. Corrlinks readers share newsletters with those who are unable to use the inmate email system, thus increasing exposure to our efforts to abolish the registry.
OnceFallen.com individual visitor counter: 133,491 visitors in 2016, up from 110,762 in 2015
Fundraisers and Expenses:
OnceFallen engaged in numerous projects last year. Granted, not every project was as successful as we had hoped, but supporters kept us going for another year.
NY ARM protest against Parents For Megan's Law: $1000, which included travel for multiple folks, hotel, and supplies, including costs of sending out letters to 260 registered citizens in Suffolk Co NY.
Oakland Protest: $490, bus/ hotel (shared room with fellow protester) plus sign materials.
Two trips to Columbus Ohio @ $30 each to testify against legislation.
Ft Lauderdale: First visit to the homeless camp, $215 (hotel costs were split with fellow activist)
Atlanta; It only cost me $200 to go to Atlanta and spend two nights; Janice from ACSOL paid my RSOL conference fee (I had only planned to attend the roundtable meeting, and I bought a cheap hotel room under renovation to cut costs by 50%.)
Miami: Christmas at the camp: $934 raised to bring socks, underwear, and other needed goods to the homeless registrant camp, As promised, every dime I raised between October and December went to the camp. OnceFallen's end of the year balance was $0.
OnceFallen website annual fee: $120
New Modem to offset costs of cable company rental modem: $65
Stamps, envelopes, paper and other needed supplies: $335
These trips were only possible through the donations of those who support OnceFallen. Without their donations, I couldn't engage in these projects myself. My personal policy for travel is I find the cheapest form of travel possible and try to find the cheapest hotels, and I will share my room with a fellow activist to offset costs. I only include direct, unique costs related to the event (transportation, hotel, supplies, and even help compensate others who attend when possible.). I do NOT count personal purchases, such as food, clothes or souvenirs as expenses.
This is a one-man operation with an extremely small budget. I do not pay myself a salary with the donations, either. I receive not personal compensation other than the satisfaction of destroying bad legislation and helping those on the registry in need of guidance. This operation has been blessed enough to somehow raise just enough funds to serve its purpose, and I never ask for more than necessary. So to those questioning what it is I do, I'm very transparent. If you want to know what I do with the money, then ask. I also have folks who can verify that I am very low-maintenance and I am very good at trimming expenses.