Urban Ministries of Durham, McKinney Want to Name a Small Item After You

By Erik Oster 

It’s common for people to donate money to have a wing of a building or stadium named after them. But what about donating for items that really make a difference? Durham agency McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham “are offering naming rights to every small item that, in totality, helps them change a person’s trajectory in life.” You could lend your name to a plunger, a light bulb, a bus pass.

The project, Names For Change, attempts to raise money for Urban Ministries of Durham so they can provide food, shelter and a hope for the future to those in need this holiday season. Names For Changes was created by Jenny Nicholson and Nick Jones, the folks responsible for Spent: the interactive game that teaches people how difficult it is to live in poverty by positioning the player as an unemployed single parent who must make it through a month with $1,000 left in their savings account. Names For Change wants to lend people’s names to every day items because they “want you to see how critical every item is to helping us fight homelessness.” Like Spent, it helps raise awareness by educating people about the importance of things they take for granted.

The Names For Change site is well designed. As you scroll down the page, you see different items that you can donate to lend your name to. Next to each item is its cost. There are also inspiring audio clips from the Program Director and Head Chef at Urban Ministries of Durham, as well as current and former residents. At the bottom of the page is the amount raised, and the fundraising goal. Currently the project has raised just $10,332 of its $100,000 goal, or enough to help two people out of homelessness. If you’d like to help make a difference (and have your name attached to an everyday item that means everything to those who truly need it), head on over to Names For Change now. And if you haven’t already played Spent, give it a try. Then, make all your Republican friends play it.