Year 1 - A Look Back
Here’s the thing…12 years ago when I dreamt up Project Humanize (although it wasn’t yet named), I pictured it simply being a photojournalism project. If I was able to make a coffee table book and donate the proceeds to a local shelter, I would have been thrilled. And…1 year ago, when I brought back up the idea of Project Humanize, I pictured something similar. I knew I wanted to give the homeless a voice. I wanted the world to hear their accounts so that they could stop making up their own narratives of misdeeds and debauchery. As our name says, I wanted to humanize the homeless.
In my mind it had never occurred to me that what I was looking to do could be SO much bigger than I had planned. But here we are…an incorporated Non-Profit on its way to (hopefully) receiving 501c3 status in the upcoming months.
Wow. How did we get here? Perhaps a little recap is in order…
In the past year we have:
· (At least attempted to) visited the homeless in New York City; Dover, NJ; Newton, NJ; Bernardsville, NJ.
· Run 4 successful fundraisers with CustomInk
· Exceeded our first goal of $1,000 on our GoFundMe campaign
· Partnered with a Girl Scout troop in order for them to receive their Bronze Award
· Photographed 24 homeless individuals (Along with 1 dog and 1 cat)
· Spoken to an additional 6 (at least) - - - - and shared all of their stories
· Decided to prepare care bags with day-to-day necessities and received an enormous amount of donations
· Collected and distributed clothing
· Met with and/or partnered with 4 other Non-Profit organizations (and will be meeting with 2 more in the next 2 weeks)
· Received and answered phone calls from the individuals we have met
· Have witnessed the unbelievable transformation of (at least) 3 of the individuals we have met
· Been on the radio! (And..cried on the radio, too – but that is beside the point)
· Been highlighted as a Non Profit to watch by Changing Optics
· Been locked in as the charity that the Jim Beam Corporate NJ team has decided to partner with
· Inspired friends, family members, and maybe even strangers to be kinder to the homeless
· Ran around NYC on more than one occasion to find an item that was desperately needed by one of the individuals we have met
· Had photos and shortened stories highlighted at an art exhibit
· Witnessed enough events to lose faith in this world and get it back (sometimes all in the same day)
· Graduated from a blog to a bad ass website
· Spoken at a school assembly
And…most importantly, we have received nothing but support, encouragement, and motivation from everyone in our lives.
In just one year we have accomplished so much. We are happy with where we are, but we are far from where we want to be. We are happy with what we have done, but still have so much to do.
So please, stay tuned. The end of this first year is simply the beginning to something wonderful.