Monday, June 28, 2010

How Five Years Has Changed Me

My eyes, mind and heart have been opened wide as I've traveled these past 5 years. With close to 100,000 miles on "Tillie," my road-weary RV--and my home/office for these 60 months--I've seen all of the lower 48 states. With those milestones comes some observations:
  • I still love traveling, and I intend to keep at it. Tillie's got her aches and pains, but it's still home. I've learned to do some repairs, like when the bathroom sink faucet turned into a mini-geyser, and am spending more (my personal money) on mechanics, but we gotta do it to keep rolling.
  • America is a great country! And it's spectacularly beautiful. I've met some tremendously wonderful people of all stripes.
  • America has a HUGE decent affordable housing crisis, especially in non-metro areas that fail to get adequate attention. Ramshackle trailers are the "good" housing. So much more is needed.
  • Small towns, and their economic crises, have yet to be substantially addressed. I'm absolutely appalled at the number of shuttered businesses and vacant homes.
When I set off 5 years ago I knew nothing about RVing, even less about documentary film-making, and my unspoken worry was that I was crazy. Those thoughts have changed, improved I'd say. And to those chuckling about me being a little loony, that's probably intensified. Our feature-length documentary, "on the edge," that's been in the works for the past 4 years, nears completion. My debt of gratitude to Laura Vazquez, my film partner, is immeasurable.

Would I imagine our nation would go through a worse (?) crisis than Hurricane Katrina? That our economy would tank in a way that jeopardizes the well-being of family, friends, strangers, nonprofit efforts, schools and more? That the world would be quaking with what will become, I'm afraid, even more disastrous crises? Never in a million years....

HEAR US turns 5 on July 1st, 2010. We--me and my wonderful board--know what we're doing is crucial, now more than ever. We hear from lots of you about our efforts, how our videos and books help you do your impossible jobs, how people without homes appreciate our work. We, at the moment, have what we need. But we won't mind if you decide to sign up to donate $5 a month to help us secure our future. It's a great way to spread good karma!

Seems to me it's better if we believe we can rather than think we can't. Nothing helps that belief grow stronger than a bunch of wonderful people spreading the word. That would be the best gift of all, tell people about HEAR US! And thanks for being there for this unconventional effort to give voice and visibility to homeless children and youth.