Photographic project manifests into Hurricane Sandy fundraiser

The Etownian November 28, 2012 0
Photographic project manifests into Hurricane Sandy fundraiser

While Hurricane Sandy may have left Elizabethtown College and the surrounding areas mostly unscathed, other areas of the East Coast, such as New Jersey and New York, were battered with gale-force winds and torrential downpours, leaving parts of these places underwater and some homes destroyed. In the face of this adversity, many campaigns sprung up to help alleviate the pain of the destruction, one such example being the HONY & Tumblr Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser.
HONY is short for Humans of New York, a photographic project created by a man named Brandon who lives in New York City. His original goal was to create a photographic consensus of the city by photographing over 10,000 different people and then plotting their locations on a map. However, as he began the project, it began to take on a different form. Brandon began to take down quotes and notice quirks about the people he photographed, and they began to appear alongside the photographs. The HONY Facebook page has garnered over 430,000 likes and people all around the world are now able to get a glimpse of the unique people of New York City.
As the hurricane came through and threatened parts of the city, the HONY project was not deterred. Rather, a partnership between HONY and the immensely popular blogging site Tumblr began. The aim of this partnership? To raise money to help aid citizens in need throughout New York. Through the abilities of HONY to show firsthand the people affected by the storm and Tumblr’s vast database of users, the two groups were able to raise over $300,000 in 11 days. Tumblr goodies and rare HONY prints were used as incentives to raise more and more money.
All of the money raised went to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which is a very highly respected family-owned charity which has been endorsed by NYC citizens and officials. It had been a goal from the beginning that all donations would go to help those in need and, through the foundation, that was made possible. When Brandon of HONY dropped into the Tunnel to Towers Foundation office, he met Tony, the man behind the bulk of the relief effort. Tony quickly began asking questions like, “Are you making money off this?” After Tony was assured that 100 percent of the money raised was going to the foundation, his smiling portrait made it up onto the HONY Facebook page alongside all of the other New Yorkers. Alongside Tony’s photo was text explaining why the Tunnel to Towers Foundation is being trusted with the money: through them, 100 percent of the donations would indeed go to providing resources for those affected by the storm.
Many lives were devastated by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy that those of us in Lancaster only got a glimpse of. We were fortunate to have a caring and coordinated college staff to take the proper precautions in order to ensure the safety of the students. While we were hanging out in our dorms and catching up on homework, many tireless individuals were working to rebuild the lives of those affected by the storm, such as the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. It is through unique initiatives like the HONY & Tumblr Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser that we are shown how a few individuals can make a difference, and in turn give us the same ability to help others. This fundraising project serves as an example of the power of human nature.

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