There are so many things that I want to share with you, but I'm never very good at communicating my ideas when I want to communicate them, so perhaps by writing it all out, it will become clear, to you and myself.
It was really good to step back from all my projects. I spent some time just photographing for fun and crafting things without the intention of making them good enough to sell. Because I stopped teaching and went back to school for photography, I feel this pressing need all the time to find a way to make photography make me money... I'm constantly jumping between ideas, and getting distracted from those ideas and basically, just not enjoying the whole thing as much as I should be. Then I decided I like my job at the Library, and I need to stop feeling like it isn't enough (which I already wrote to you about). When I stopped stressing about all of that, I was able to more clearly see what things are most important to me.
One of those things, is ending child and teen abuse and poverty. This week, I got in contact with a few local organizations to find out how I can help. I've already decided I want to do some fundraising, but I needed to know where to direct the money raised. I started the Triumph Project, which needs a lot of work to get off the ground, but it's easier to put in all that work when you know it's the right place to spend your energy.
I'm going to start sticking googly eyes on everything, and hopefully eventually, they will become a symbol of ending teen and child abuse and poverty (and also of the triumph project).
I've also been thinking a lot about my town, so many people curse this place and leave instead of changing it and making it a place where they want to stay. I don't blame them, I just realized it's sort of how life here never changes, and those who stay seem trapped in a rut. It's a place without hope for young people, only the young haven't realized it yet. They find it boring, but they don't see that in many ways, it literally holds them back from doing great things. We need to change it for them - make it a place where they can fulfill their dreams, or at least learn of all the possibilities. Too many children are falling through the cracks. They end up trapped in poverty, living on welfare and unemployed, and eventually they stop hoping for something better and except that as the status quo. I don't have an answer for how to fix this. I just know that we have to try. Dunnville could be a beautiful, thriving community, but we need to stop saying, "we don't have that here" and going somewhere else. For now, until I have a better idea how to really make a difference, I've just started trying to support my local businesses and spread a bit of community pride. We have this great little place on a beautiful river, with a rich History and interesting buildings, but sometimes we forget.
So I started the Dunnville Shops Local website, only it's taking me forever to track down local artisans and businesses websites, so this is gonna take a while to complete.
I still teach photography skills to teens too, and that is definitely a worthwhile project. I'll share more about that, and also the fundraisers I have planned for the near future later, but if you have any advice on how to really help kids and this town, I'd love to hear from you,