Investing in Community
I've traveled extensively across the US and Canada and forayed a little in Europe, and everywhere I go I meet warm friendly people who are eager to share their culture and show me what's special about their corner of the world. 10 years ago I had an amazing experience standing in the remnants of an ancient temple high on a mountain in Hawaii, with a descendant of royal Hawaiian family teaching me about the spiritual and cultural history of the Hawaiian people.
I decided to find a way to give back, to invest directly in the communities of working people who have been so gracious to me, and for the past several years my wife and I have been giving to a few local charities. We have our own little family we're trying to support, so our contributions were never big but they came from our heart.
This website is the extension of that effort. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos on my site just for the sheer joy of sharing them. If you like something you see then this is a place you can purchase it and know that you're helping improve communities of good-hearted people. I've priced the photos on this site at the lab cost plus a small amount of markup that will be given to charities I have listed below. I will give 100% of profits to these charities; at some point in the future I may adjust that plan if needed, but for now it's the reason I'm going through the effort to build the site.
Disclaimer: I am not operating an official non-profit organization; I'm just a guy who wants to help. I encourage you to explore donating directly to these organizations if you're so inclined. My plan is that once the photo lab and the website company have taken their fees then I'll send the remaining funds to charity. Initially, the funds from Hawaii photos will be split equally between the two Hawaiian charities listed below, the 1000 Islands photo proceeds will go to that charity and the proceeds from all other photos will be split between the two remaining charities. It's starting to sound complicated, so I may modify how I do this in the future, but stick with me because I think this is gonna be cool.
There are GEMS clubs across the country. We specifically support the club in Kona which serves about 400 school-age girls each year. Through hands-on exhibits and workshops, women from the local community introduce girls to their occupations and show them how math, science, and technology are used in their daily work. The program is designed to stimulate interest and promote the confidence of girls in these fields. Workshop topics include marine science, architecture, financial planning, veterinary medicine, land surveying, chemistry, astronomy, dentistry, culinary science and archaeology.
I've personally visited the PYCC and was impressed with the opportunities they offer for youth development, serving about 500 local Maui kids each year. They have a media lab where, among other things, the kids operate a radio station that broadcasts live on the web, they provide athletic development activities in the ocean and on land, they conduct leadership camps, and organize volunteer work projects to support the local community.
1000 Islands (US & Canada)
My kids are fifth-generation islanders on the St. Lawrence River. The good people who call the islands their home for the summer or longer, work together to make the River safe and to educate others on its beauty. TIA is a non-profit international association of sailors, power boaters and property owners founded in 1934 with a common interest in keeping the St. Lawrence a safe and beautiful place.
Amanda and Richard Haddock are bringing the concept of "Open Source" to medical research. They founded Dragon Master Foundation to find and accelerate cures for cancers and other diseases by fostering and rewarding a community of collaboration and innovation. They seek to spread awareness, expedite research and kinder treatments, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. I have personally worked with them and believe they are right at the center of a new movement towards open collaboration at the highest echelons of US medical research.
Amanda is a serial volunteer whose son, David, succumbed to GBM in 2012 at the age of 18. She was his caregiver throughout the 20 month battle and traveled with him to four different hospitals in four different states. The doctors and researchers they encountered on that journey led them to become passionate advocates for brain cancer research. Amanda was named a White House Champion of Change for Precision Medicine because of her work with Dragon Master Foundation.
Founded in 1981, All Stars Project (ASP) is a national nonprofit that uses a performance based approach to help tens of thousands of inner-city youth and their families create success in their lives. They transform the lives of youth and poor communities using the developmental power of performance, in partnership with caring adults.
Their vision is that by 2020, we will be recognized as America’s leader in Afterschool Development, a new way of engaging poverty.
My brother has devoted thirty years of his life to this mission, and together with an outstanding team the All Stars Project is making real change happen in our communities at the national level. I encourage you to support their important mission if you are able.