Looking for a few shekels for a good cause
Mar 07, 2013 | 1237 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To the Editor,

I’ve been the president of the board of In-Sight Photography Project for the past couple of years. It’s a wonderful nonprofit dedicated to helping youth, regardless of whether they can pay anything at all (meaning that most pay nothing at all). The medium is learning to take photographs, but the result is often much deeper. A lot of these youths have really found themselves in this way. Many say it changed their lives!

A very special project of In-Sight is its Exposures Program. For the past 10 years (In-Sight itself is now in its 21st year), Exposures has connected youth in several communities (Brattleboro, where In-Sight is based; New York City; inner-city Chicago; the Navaho reservation in Arizona) with Lakota youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. During the year, this collaboration is online. They share photographs that enable them to share their experience of their communities. They discover both how different life can be in rural Vermont, inner-city urban centers, and the Native American reservations.

A crucial part of the program is a three-week intensive program in which youth travel from their own communities to the Pine Ridge Reservation. I spent a week with the group one summer and can testify to the dramatically positive impact it has on these young people. It’s because of Exposures that I got involved with In-Sight and I’m extremely proud of what the organization accomplishes.

As is always the case with a nonprofit that has only a very small portion of its funds from class fees of students whose families can afford it, our ability to run the Exposures Summer Program depends on grants and donations. In this case, we’re taking a big leap and putting all our eggs for running the program on a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal: If you make your goal, you’re all set; if you miss it, even by a few dollars, you get zero. (We won’t invite youth to apply for the summer program until we know if we’ve made it.)

We’re at the halfway mark now: We’re halfway into our 30-day fundraiser and we have 110 backers for $8,700 of our $16,000.

So I’m asking you to give a few of your hard-earned shekels! Kickstarter makes it very easy (you pay through your Amazon account; if you don’t have one, it takes just a couple minutes to set one up) to donate. Any amount will help, though I’m asking you to consider making as sizable a donation as your finances will allow. Donations are, of course, fully tax-deductible.

So please take a moment to look at our Kickstarter campaign site: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/insight/exposures-2013-summer-program-on-pine-ridge-reserv.

If you watch the video, I can’t imagine you won’t be moved to contribute!

I hope this finds you well and, as always, I wish you all the best,

Jon Mack

South Newfane
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