First of all, thank you for the publicity–it’s awesome to see how our supporters “get” our mission and express that in our defense when attacks are leveled at us personally and at this project. From the outset of this project I have learned a great deal from the criticism–if nothing else, by measuring myself against the statements made to ensure that my own intentions and actions were not misguided. My intention in this short (I promise) post is to issue a blanket statement that may help address complaints/misunderstandings in the future. If anything is not covered here that you are curious about, drop me an email and I will answer in detail.
Stefanie and I ARE LivingVertical, we have no staff, no office, no salary, no retirement plan. No home. Unlike many large “charities” which have CEO’s who make upwards of 500k a year we have sold everything we have aside from outdoor gear and our 87 Tercel to be able to put everything towards this project. Our financial support is all very open–you can see it on our Indiegogo page. That’s all of it. Yes we have been provided with Clif Bars to eat and share and Goal Zero has given us solar gear to use as we travel in the backcountry. We haven’t signed any monetary sponsorships or applied for any grant money.
We ARE a charity, IRS approved 501c3. We started LivingVertical with our own money, before accepting or seeking a single dollar in outside money, to address what we perceived as a gap in the market that would empower and improve the lives of people living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).
About Project 365:
Project 365 is an interactive documentary project, not a vacation. We have done many long roadtrips in the past as “vacations” without a dime of money from outside sources. Filming, blogging, editing, documenting and producing a movie with only two people and no home is really a lot more work and is more expensive than you might think. It is far from a dream vacation. It is hard work and every dime that is has been and will be raised from this project is to complete this project and make the documentary happen.
We are VERY up front about this–with one catch: you must be able to read and willing to do so, since this fact is stated explicitly in many places.
Project 365 is a personal initiative not a business or financial one. It started from the ground up and is meant to reach people on a personal level. It’s the opposite of big business–and make no mistake, the non-profit industry HAS that big business component to it. Our goal isn’t to tear down that paradigm, but rather to provide an alternative and let people decide for themselves. That aspect appeals to some and seems trivial to others–but let it be known that we aren’t taking grant money from sick kids or conning seniors out of their pensions.
About our supporters:
They are amazing.
We have told people what we are doing and they were moved to help because they support what we are doing.There are many people who have donated financially to our cause and we really appreciate that! There are also a lot of people who follow our adventure and have not donated–and we appreciate them too!
This project is not geared to help us make money–it’s geared to educate the public on living with diabetes and being willing to embrace challenges and push limits. Giving us money or gear is NOT the right answer for everyone. We want help from those who can and want to give it–and there is a LOT of help we can use that costs NOTHING financially. I get the fact that many people can’t spare the money, or feel that our project is cool but not worth the financial investment given the cost of living in a down economy. I can absolutely see those views as being valid and that is why we sold everything of ours before starting this–because we knew that if we were lucky we would be able to raise close to half of what it will take to complete this project, and the difference would come out of our hides. We also knew that if we didn’t raise a dime we would still give what we had to making this project happen in hopes of inspiring change.
A few years from now, we intend to have a more extensive outreach, our own program offerings, presentations that we will do at schools and hospitals. Right now, we are growing, working and building towards that end. I don’t want or expect anyone to feel sorry for us–this has been our choice, and our commitment and we are excited about what we are doing and what we will do moving forward.
Now let’s all get off the friggin’ internet and DO something.