I believe it’s important to be thankful and express gratitude. I also believe it’s important to give credit when credit is due.
What does it mean to you?
To me, just hearing this word summons a wave of nostalgia that courses through my veins.
Ideas changed my life.
Let me explain: IDEAS, as many of you know, stands for Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions. They began as an organisation at UCF – where I attended school. Through IDEAS, I learned more about how to get involved to help our Earth and environment, and I met some awesome people who were creating solutions for environmental problems.
I started off as the Bikes Save CO2 coordinator, and eventually even became the co-president of this incredible organisation (at UCF). During that time, IDEAS was spreading to many other universities and schools, and even other countries. A few years later, they were officially a registered 501c3 nonprofit.
IDEAS is still growing, as am I. Through some help from friends of IDEAS, I was able to DJ with solar power at a house powered entirely by solar and wind. This idea got me so excited that I wanted to build a portable setup so I could DJ everywhere with the sun’s energy.
Within a year I had built that system and played it numerous places. I even was invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University and Earth Day in NYC because of my work with solar power and music.
Somewhere along this journey, I got into education and photography/videography. I was educating about renewable energy through DJing and music and the youth were inspiring me to continue to do so.
Currently, I am a full time environmental science teacher who teaches middle school students. I am also a professional photographer who seeks to capture some of the beauty of Earth and share it with others. My overall goal is conservation and preservation of natural lands, and I attempt to use photography and storytelling to expedite this process.
I have been selling photographic prints and personally taking some of these funds and donating them to organisations that help protect our Earth.
Recently though, I had an IDEA. What if I gave a percent of every photograph sold and photo shoot commissioned (during one week) to a nonprofit? I thought about it, and decided I could do better – a month!
And when I kept researching and thinking of what nonprofits to partner with, my thoughts went to “How do I know that this organisation will use these donations in the best possible way?”
Then it hit me like a beam of concentrated solar power! IDEAS! I’ve seen them turn small donations into incredibly powerful action again and again (and I’ve even been part of it)!
I’ve been wanting to donate more funds to them for a while, but it’s been difficult because teachers don’t get paid as much money as you may think! Plus, I’m taking college courses right now, too.
But this is a way I can help!
I have donated my time in the past to them and done some videos for their initiatives. Fleet farming is one of their newest ideas and is brilliant. Check it out, if you haven’t yet!
Anyway, what I am pledging to do is donate 5% of all photographs and photo shoots purchased in the entire month of April to IDEAS. There will be proof sent to each purchaser that this 5% is going to IDEAS. And again, this is 5% of ALL FUNDS, not just 5% of profits.
And I wanted to make it easy for IDEAS, so they don’t have to do any real work or take time away from the great initiatives they’re doing to get these funds. So all anyone has to do is order a print in April – I do glossy, framed, glass, and in multiple sizes – and 5% of everything you order goes straight to IDEAS.
This also goes for photo shoots if you or your friends or families would like one. I have some photos from past photo shoots up so you can see some of my work.
And hey, if you’re like me and working four jobs, taking college courses, and cooking lots of pasta to save money, you can still help! Just share this with friends and family. Let them know about it. Everyone loves ideas, and every caring person loves the Earth.
We need organisations like IDEAS, now, more than ever. And I’d also argue that we need an appreciation for art and nature now, more than ever. This initiative is a coupling of both.
Thank you for the support.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, email with any questions and orders, thank you!