Making a film is a long and difficult experience, including: sleepless nights, delayed flights, unexpected filming restrictions, physical & mental exhaustion during a long shoot, career & financial pressures, and the need to ask people for money when it is against your nature to do so. But every once in a while there is a special moment that reminds us why we push on.
Sometimes those moments come during an interview, knowing that the knowledge we just captured will help many people. Other times we are reminded of our mission when we meet inspiring kids & families who have embraced the opportunities homeschooling offers. In our fundraising campaigns, we’ve been blown away from the kindness of family, friends, strangers and organizations who believe in our film enough to donate their hard-earned money.
In our final fundraising campaign (which ends in 12 hours) we experienced one of the most generous donations we could ever imagine—one that not only helps us financially, but also reminds us how important the story is that we are telling.
A $500 donation came in from a family that resides over 7,500 miles away, in Australia. Actually, that isn’t entirely accurate. This particular family is what some call “road-schoolers” – they are a nomadic family who educate their children with real world experiences. Right now they are in Tasmania.
$500 is a lot for any family to contribute, but given the situation this family is in, it is likely the most generous act I’ve ever witnessed, or even heard about.
The mother, Lauren, is essentially a single mother of four daughters. Six months ago her family was much larger. In June of 2012, she lost her son in a tragedy that also put her husband into a mental institution.
Lauren continues to raise her children the way her and her husband had intended, through travel, experiences, connecting with people, and living very frugally. I’m not familiar with the family’s finances, but what I can gather from Lauren’s site, I wouldn’t be surprised if they live on $250-$300 a month in living expenses. Lauren’s donation may very well represent two months of getting by for her family.
When we first received the donation and read Lauren’s story, we felt guilty and wanted to give the money back. I’m positive Lauren would say no. Instead, we decided we wanted to share her story so that it may inspire others to think carefully about how they spend their money and in what ways they can make an impact in this world.
Lauren did not ask us or even know that we wrote this story. We encourage you to share this story and hope it makes as much of an imprint in your minds, as it certainly has in ours.
You can follow Lauren’s story on her site, Sparkling Adventures. (photo credit: all photos except the first come from Lauren’s site or instagram).