‘Social Security Stories Project’ Seeks Personal Stories

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NEWCASTLE, Maine — An effort to gather stories about the importance of Social Security in our society has resulted in a special video project and upcoming book. The Social Security Stories Project is seeking story submissions from the public, with a goal of receiving 1,000 stories by the end of July. The stories will then be reviewed for possible inclusion in a new book to be published in honor of the 75th anniversary of Social Security on Aug. 14, 2010.

There are currently 10 stories featured in a new video that was showcased by the National Academy of Social Insurance on June 22 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The video can also be viewed on YouTube. The video uses photos submitted by the story tellers, as well as audio captured through a special toll-free number set up for the project.

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Those who have received Social Security as well as those who know of a friend or family member whose life was impacted are encouraged to submit their stories. Online submission is easy and requires less than 400 words or a short video. Full details and a submission form are available at www.SocialSecurityStories.org. Stories can also be shared by calling 1-800-335-2082.

“We are hoping the younger generations will interview their parents and grandparents on the subject which is why our website offers interview questions,” says Barbara Burt, executive director for the Frances Perkins Center, a nonprofit organization leading the project as part of its mission to honor and learn from Frances Perkins (the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet). A pioneering woman in and ahead of her time, Perkins was U.S. secretary of labor for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was champion of the New Deal, close friend and advisor to FDR.

The Social Security Stories Project seeks to create a full picture of the importance of Social Security to celebrate and share with all U.S. citizens, and the world.

Stories featured in the video include:

• The story of a new dad that died a few days after his son was born. The son received his Social Security benefits, preventing a further tragedy for the family. “I am saddened that my grandson has to grow up without his daddy,” says Angela Stockwell of Athens, Maine. “But I am grateful that a program which began 75 years ago still exists today to help struggling families deal financially with the loss of a loved one.”

• The story of a dad struck by cancer suddenly, leaving his wife to care for their children alone. “The funeral director in our small town told my mom about benefits available from Social Security that would help her,” says Evonne Zalewski of Greendale, Wis. “ I remember my mom telling me how this will help so much and that we will not be poor or have to move. Having grown up during the depression with only food stamps available was terrifying for my mom.”

“We’re inviting people across America to share examples of how Social Security made a meaningful difference in their life or the life of someone they know — as it currently does for one in six Americans,” says Burt.

Go to SocialSecurityStories.org for more information.


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