Every Monday, Bombilore features a Changemaker out there brightening the world in some unique and much-needed way. We believe that highlighting positive, good work is integral to the healing and transformation of our planet and all its beings. We also believe that the more connected change-makers and conscious entrepreneurs are, the more powerful we will become. Together, we can tell a brighter story, and nurture a more life-sustaining world...
Meet Hopefully Ever After: An American Story
We are the Director and crew of the film Hopefully Ever After: An American Story, an in-production documentary film that follows its director as he sits down and chats with Americans around the nation, in their homes, about their feelings of the present and their hopes and dreams for the future. While we are traveling around talking to people, we are doing our most important work: sponsoring popup soup kitchens around the country, feeding the homeless and hungry as we go.
We started this project directly out of our sense of frustration after the 2016 Presidential election. While we are all (somewhat) committed Lefties, and obviously the results of the election didn't sit well with us, politics didn't really seem like it was the most pressing concern after 8 November 2016.
What, as specifically as possible, is the most pressing concern or issue right now in relation to the work that you do?
The issue that touches close to home, to us, is the issues of food security. During the campaign, there was concern that all of the Republican candidates, from Trump down to Kasich, were all threatening negative changes to the Food Stamp program, WIC, and other food access programs for the poor and hungry that would leave millions more Americans hungry.
We decided to do something about it, as well as try to do something about the discord between Americans. So here we are, making a documentary film where we talk to Americans of all stripes about their hopes and dreams for the future and we are feeding the homeless and hungry as we travel. Food insecurity might be the number 2 issue facing Americas right now (after climate change), with near 50 million Americans living in food insecure households, and tens of millions more on the Food Stamp program, Meals-on-Wheels, and taking advantage of local food pantries.
As all change-makers know, changing the story around certain issues is a part of making meaningful and lasting change. What's one of the most pervasive, negative or misleading narratives you see in relation to the work you do or the causes you serve?
It turns out that doing the work of feeding the hungry isn't easy, though the film parts are disturbingly quick and tidy; though the feeding work could be easy if we could get more people interested in it. I think the most pervasive attitude that we are running into while doing the soup kitchens AND the film is one of citizen apathy. Its amazing the number of people that we run into that think that feeding the homeless is either something not worth doing or something that is doomed to fail. But as long as you have the talent to make food, the materials necessary to do so, and the will to make feeding people happen, it isn't pointless or doomed.
What is an alternative, more life-sustaining story we can start to tell?
The story that we Americans need to retrieve from the past is that we are our brothers' keepers, we do need to look out for one another, and that when one of us lives an unfulfilled life, the entire commons is weaker for it. It isn't ok for some of us to live as though no one else in the world suffers except us. We need to regain a sense of empathy for our fellow Americans, to be able to put ourselves in others' shoes, to understand that that downtrodden soul in front of us sleeping on the sidewalk or begging for spare change to buy a meal with or living in their car could easily be us if the tables were turned.
What 3 concrete actions would you encourage people to take if they're interested in being an ally in healing and transforming this particular story?
1. There are ways to help us help others. One way is to donate to our project. We have a gofundme (gofundme.com/hopefullyeverafter) and a direct paypal.me link (paypal.me/willieconeiii), and every penny donated goes into the project (and we share our financials monthly to our facebook page).
2. The next way to help is to share our story and our mission and our project with your friends and family and others, not only so that we can bring more attention to what we are doing, but so that others can hopefully be inspired enough by it to think about the issues around food security and maybe involve themselves, which brings us to the last way to help:
3. Volunteer! There are hundreds of nonprofit organizations out there doing what we do, and we guarantee that they could all use help right now with some project that they're working on, and they can't afford staff on donations, so go volunteer. While we shouldn't live in a world where we have a supposed functioning government yet are still tasked with doing what that government should be doing (providing for the least among us), we do, and its up to all of us to get involved and help out.
Thank you Hopefully Ever After! You're amazing!
If you loved their story or think others you know would, please help us spread this inspiring good news around the inter webs!
Interested in being featured as a Monday Changemaker? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little about what you do. Please allow us a couple weeks to get back to you. If it's a good fit, we will let you know how to proceed from there.