Ripples of Change: Status Update

Status update on my transmedia documentary: Ripples of Change. A story of hope about Lakewood's beloved Help to Others organization.

Five weeks to go before the trailer is up for public review.  

I've had to buy two new hard drives to manage the amount of footage gathered to date.  This is a great problem.  I've interviewed 10 adults over the past few weeks, and a few kids.  

Let me put it this way!  

If I can craft the story out of the pieces that moved me to tears and rattled my concerned heart then this piece will meet it's goal, which is: to gain exposure and guarantee sustainability for H2O.  

I've been talking to folks about how to ensure we get funding to keep the program around for another 20 years.  I've used phrases like chopping block, budget cuts and non-essential to describe its status in the budget world of the city. 

This is offensive to people who are fond of the program.  “Non-essential?” One person said, “I can’t think of anything more essential!”  “Money is less important than teaching our youth what it means to be a citizen!” 

Ripples of Change, a transmedia documentary, is impacting me the filmmaker!   I came to this appreciating H2O, with both of my boys participating over the years.  However, I never realized the scope of what H2O accomplishes.  I never knew the number of people’s lives it has touched. 

Budget?  Sustainability? 

Think about this:  It costs $250 a day to incarcerate an adolescent.  On the flip side, it costs $150 a year to pay for one kid to serve the community through H2O.  Look at it in common denominator terms:

Incarcerate for a day:  $250

H2O for a day: $0.41

My hope, once Ripples of Change reaches the theater, we are no longer talking about sustainability for the next 20 years because the monies have been raised.  I want to see the leaders of H2O figuring out how to broaden their reach while guaranteeing the current level of awesomeness.  I want to see H2O being contacted by other cities as model program for youth.  Most of all, I want to see the hundreds of kids who join H2O efforts continuing to do their amazing service without their parents worrying if the budget will be cut! 

Enough for now!  Back to my hard drives. 

Ripple on! 

You can learn more about this project by contacting me on facebook, follow me on twitter @cjs_stories   --  or check out my other blog on tumblr:  chris-karel.tumblr.com

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