Chris Karel didn't initially intend to make a film about the Lakewood student service organization Help to Others.
The Lakewood resident agreed to shoot some footage for the 20th anniversary H2O, aimed at raising money for the organization.
Then, Karel got into it.
The result is a moving documentary called “Drops of Kindness. Ripples of Change” and he’s pitching to PBS and HBO among others.
Karel, the film's writer/director — and a graduate of Virginia Marti College of Art and Design — debuted a 7-minute trailer online on Friday night.
Watch the “Drops of Kindness. Ripples of Change” teaser attached at the right
“As a former teacher and someone who worked with trouble kids, one of the things I spent a lot of time learning is that the time between 3 and 5 p.m. is the time most juvenile crime is committed,” he said. “There needs to be opportunities for kids.”
He worries that H2O will lose funding from the city. Karel said that simply making an emotional gala piece was only part of what was needed.
An active member of the community as a coach, youth commissioner, block captain and former teacher, Karel said he felt that “the H2O story needed to be shared with everyone.”
“If everyone knew about H2O, then there would be no way the group would be deemed ‘non-essential’ and cut from the city’s budget in 2014.”
“I am no longer a teacher but I want my children to have these opportunities and to get involved in something,” he added, “that can give them an eye on the world and how they can change the world they live in."
“That’s incredibly powerful.”
Check out Karel's blog posts on Lakewood Patch here.