Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Giving Away My Work For Free!



I had the pleasure of sitting down and really getting to hear Mark Federman, the principle of East Side Community High School, speak passionately about education, the arts, his school, and most importantly near to his heart, his students. This guy is the real deal. He's been living out of a tent on the street in front of his school for over a week now to raise awareness for his school. All because of a promise that he made to his kids as a mentor and leader that they all look up to and admire. KOHL's is giving away ten million dollars that will be split up between 20 schools, each getting 500,000 and Mark really wants this for his. It's a voting game. Unfortunately they're on the low end of the technology spectrum(due to current funding) which makes promoting this cause all that more of an uphill battle against many of the private schools currently holding the top 20 positions. It would be really unfortunate to see all of these awards only go to privately funded schools and not deserving Title 1 schools like East Side High that really are desperately in need of a boost like this to change the lives of the students there permanently.

Mark and I spoke for about a half an hour, but it didn't take more than a few minutes to see the energy in Mark's eyes even though he'd only had three hours of sleep the night before. He introduced me to their current arts program and all of the things they currently pull off with a non-existing budget, including a full gallery that they do student exhibitions in for the community to help raise money for the arts. In fact, pretty much anything that is outside of the lean and stripped down "norm" has to be personally funded out of his own pocket and other teachers at the school. We both conversed on our passion for a solid balance of technology with the arts in the classroom. This money would help fund a new mac lab where his students can access the equipment they need for a proper introduction to the graphic arts, computer illustration, and video production. In addition to this he has a pretty extensive list filled with after school programming, some fine tuning, and just making the overall experience a better one for his students.



So here's whats up. I need you to vote for very a deserving school that really needs our help and has lit up many faces on a street nearby where I live. In exchange I'm going to give you my work for free. This will not cost you a penny (I'm covering shipping costs too). Only about 30 seconds of your time will be needed for the voting. Mark has literally been camping out and living in front of the school for the past week in order to raise awareness for the needs of his school and the students that walk it's hallways. His ambition and determination has inspired me. He's out there doing exactly what every person in a leadership role should be doing in their community. He's lit a flame in everyone around him, brought together the community with his students, faculty, and parents and given them all hope and a dream worth coming together for. Bottom line, it's always near and dear to my heart when I see someone that's willing to go the extra mile and show the world they care... especially when it's for the kids.



I realize that we are bombarded by proposals on the internet non stop which is why I understand the value of a little bribe in order to elicit action. So go vote for East Side Community High School in the KOHL's Cares For Kids contest on Facebook to help them realize this dream of winning $500,000 and I will ship you a print of your choice that is hand signed and dated completely for free to anywhere in the world.

Here's how it works...

This must be done by Friday, September 3rd in order for it to count.

Go to this site http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares

You have to have a Facebook account to vote - if you don't have one it's really easy to sign up for one quickly at facebook.com

Login to facebook.

Then search for East Side Community High School on the http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares

Now Vote for East Side Community High School!... and make sure you vote 5 times for them. You can vote 5 times for one school.

Awesome.

This is important! Take a screenshot of the webpage that shows your name and picture proving to me that you voted. (How to Take a Screenshot in Microsoft Windows: http://bit.ly/eMVb | How to Take a Screenshot in Mac OS X: http://bit.ly/X70NJ )

Now email that screenshot picture file as an attachment to rawtoastdesign@gmail.com along with the name of the print you want from the RTD Store http://bit.ly/1549YG as well as your mailing address.

And don't forget to go tell all of your friends!

Done. And thank you kindly :)

============================

Why am I doing this? I've got a few reasons.

1. I've walked by here at all hours over the past week and whether it's morning, afternoon, or night, this school's steps have been lit up with smiling faces and people who genuinely care about their futures. And that makes me care. I also had the opportunity to sit down with Mark Federman, the principle of East Side Community High, and listen to him passionately speak about how profoundly this money would benefit his students, especially in the arts and technology.

2. I'm just a sucker for people who give a damn. All great things that materialize start off as an idea. An idea that is then fueled with emotion, heart, and perseverance by someone who cares. East Side High is a perfect example of this. Let's give these kids the recognition they deserve and make believers out of each and every one of them that have volunteered their time for this cause.

3. It's in my best interest to care about this school because every afternoon these kids repopulate my neighborhood. And the better educated and well rounded they all are the better chance that the future of this area that I live in will be a positive and fulfilling environment for all.

4. I am still just plain fascinated by the power of the internet and humans. How the influence of a few can generate a tidal wave of reaction. And that just maybe, if I send this on to the people that I know and then they forward it on to there friends. A little public school in the East Village of NY, that caught my attention through a 7 year old volunteer with a blue flyer and a principal sleeping in a tent, can see this dream materialize. Something like this will be more profound than we could ever imagine for these students.

Please vote 5 times for East Side Community High at http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares


Please leave comments on the blog here too! I would love to hear other ideas from you on how we can help this school. This is New York, the center of the world. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to put this extremely under served school in the spotlight and get them the votes that they need to change their world forever. This school needs us to be their voice! I believe in all of you.

Best,

Jesse Kuhn
The Republic of RAWTOASTDESIGN


Related Press:

NBC: Pitching in for His Kids: Principal Sleeps in Tent to Win School $500,000 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Tent-City-Outside-new-York-City-High-School-101602168.html

NY1: High School Principal Continues To Camp Out To Win Cash
http://bit.ly/90uTnp

NY1: High School Principal Camps Out For Cash http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/top_stories/124480/high-school-principal-camps-out-for-cash

Daily News: School principal goes all out for his kids, sleeps in tent for chance to win $500,000 http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/26/2010-08-26_going_all_outsider_for_kids_is_matter_of_principal.html

KRS-ONE Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7eWIc8Sgpw


Go vote! http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares AND HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

14 comments:

Redheaded Stepchild said...

This is so cool - YOU ROCK!!

NatalieGelman said...

done! No artwork needed :) Happy to help something you care about and it sounds like they could really use the money!

Kim said...

So THIS is why you didn't need to take my flyer for East Side on the corner... I think what you're doing counts as much more than just "doing the online thing." Thank you so much.

Keith said...

This is beyond nice Jesse. Thank you for your support. BTW: If the 7 year old volunteer was a spunky little blond haired boy, then that was my son (actually 6 3/4).

Thanks again, and c'mon everybody, please support urban schools and vote East Side!

Laurghita said...

Me to, but please make another post on friday 3.09.2010 to remind me of this, the RSS will take care of that...

rawtoastdesign said...

Thanks for all the comments and support everyone!

Natalie, if you have any NY connections you could forward this on to East Side High and myself would be most grateful.

Kim, my pleasure.

Keith, I'm pretty sure it was. I got to meet him again last night when I stopped by. Awesome little guy.

Laurghita, I will post again for Friday. Please take the time to vote now though and promote it to your friends if you haven't already. Time is of the essence here. Thanks so much!

Best,

Jesse

OhTeppei said...

Done and double done! Seriously, the artwork is a nice bonus but I'm not even sweatin' it. After visiting my old high school's page and realizing where the money would go, I was a little more sad than I should be at noon on a Wednesday.
I went to a pretty damn baller high school and sports were always completely funded while we cut the arts programs and jobs. They're talking about buying land because there's not enough parking (5 parking lots) and wow.. I'm not even going to go on and on.

Thank you for what you're doing. I'm glad to be behind it!

rawtoastdesign said...

Thanks so much Amanda. I really appreciate it!

Best,

Jesse

mizdarlin said...

I'd do this in a New York minute-but Canadians can't vote, according to the teeny tiny rules...if I'm srong, let me know..
(mizdarlin on Cargoh)

Simone said...

Done. Found out about it through Kimmchi

White Earth Studio said...

JUST VOTED FOR YOU!!
GOOD LUCK
NO NEED TO SEND GIFT!

rawtoastdesign said...

Thank you all for the comments and the support!

Best,

Jesse

S said...

I worked in East Harlem for many years during my first career as an educator. I am so grateful for all the wonderful memories El Barrio gave me. I recently returned to reconnect with friends. I'm so glad to see the school thriving today. The school deserves this for 1,000's of reasons and they're all productive young adults today. Reading about this really made my day!

Karen said...

just got my five requisite votes in (just in time before deadline, lol) for east side community high school...thanks for letting us all know of this well deserving school....very interesting! am more than happy to help with this worthy cause...& altho i love your artwork, jesse, no need to send me a print....but what a terrific idea to tie in your artwork to this cause! cheers....;)