Darius Makes A Movie, Begins A Movement

12 Oct

In an article on Mashable, I watched a video for the Darius Goes West campaign.  For those who haven’t heard of this project, Darius Weems, who suffers from DMD, and 11 of his friends road-tripped across the country six years ago in a trailor while filming an award-winning documentary to raise money for research on the disease.  Darius lost his brother to same disease at age 19.

The documentary clip on YouTube is incredibly inspiring, and the DVD can be purchased for $10.  From that price, $8 goes to research, and the other $2 to the organization funds to keep filming, make school visits, etc.  Bumper stickers, bracelets and t-shirts are also for sale.  The campaign has raised over $2 million for DMD research.  Social media use has also had an enourmous impact, according to Mashable:

“They’ve accrued close to 700,000 views on YouTube, collected more than 14,000 Facebook fans, obtained roughly 2,000 Twitter followers, and raised almost $45,000 through Facebook Causes and FirstGiving.”

Check out the video clip:

On the campaign website, you can make donations, purchase merchandise (educators can receive free copies of the DVD as part of the “Know About it Program“).  There’s profiles for each crew member and frequently-updated blog.  What’s really significant is that the documentary was filmed about six years ago. But that was only the beginning. Since then Darius has made tons of school trips and short videos for the website.  Through active social media use, he continues to increase support for DMD research, and it all began with one video.

My video

So, my fundraising project is clearly nowhere near the level of Darius’ campaign.  But, I do have a couple videos that I filmed at the school in Shanghai, and one of them,  of a blind child in the class that was extremeley giften musically. He played four instruments, one of which I went to get fixed and brought back for him. Upon my return with the instrument, he played this song:

The video’s not great quality, and next time I go back I intend to get better ones that show the conditions of the school. and how great the students are.  But it’s a video, and it’s on YouTube.  It’s something that people can watch and listen to, and most importantly with regards to nonprofit social media, respond to emotionally.  This child is so talented, but doesn’t have the resources to take his music further.  After seeing him play, maybe someone with the resources would be compelled to donate money for him to learn in an institution of music for the blind.  You never know what can happen with a single picture, video or post: just look at the impact that Darius’ video had.


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