by Tom Spencer, CEO of iACT
Wow! This year’s Hope Awards program is among my favorite memories of my time at iACT. We worked very hard to tell the story of our Hands on Housing program and it seems that many people were touched by the stories of our homeowners and faith community volunteers.
Here are a few reactions:
“The event was just right. Perfect pitch. Lovely in every way and the message crystal clear. You must pause and take pride and great joy in the use of your gifts in this place, at this time.”
“THANK YOU for focusing on housing in such a great way!”
“Just a quick note this morning to offer my congratulations to the entire team for a terrific Hope Awards evening last night. There were too many shining lights to itemize… But I wanted to say thank you to the entire committee for all their hard work and for the success that I am confident will come from it. A new bar has been set. Have a great day, and reflect on the evening often!”
“Mazal Tov on a wonderful event last evening – it was beautifully produced and the folks I spoke to had lots of enthusiasm and passion in supporting iACT – I hope that your goals were met!”
“…It was a fabulous evening. Just when I thought we could not possibly take it up a notch from last year, we took it to a whole ‘nother level! Thanks to all of you for helping make it such a special evening.”
My thanks to all involved!
All That Remains
by Marko Slavnic, Director/Writer of “All That Remains”
As a filmmaker from Sarajevo, Bosnia, I always told myself that I wasn’t going to make a film about the war that tore apart my country in the 90s. Mainly because that’s the only thing that many people associate Bosnia with: war. Just like any country there is so much more to Bosnia than just that, and I, like many people from that region want to move on from the horrors of the past.
But at the same time I can’t deny the fact that that war has had an enormous impact on who I am and how I see the world. It’s the single biggest factor that has shaped my life and defined me as a person. And as a filmmaker, I realized that I couldn’t just ignore that.
“All That Remains,” is my first feature film and a story I couldn’t walk away from. This is not a film about war, but instead about the aftermath of war and the devastating effect it has on people, families, and whole generations. I became a filmmaker to make movies like this one, to tell stories that I think are important and need to be heard.
The film, which was completely self-funded, is a little over two-thirds complete and now I’ve turned to Kickstarter to help me finish production and post-production. With nearly 300 backers, the campaign has been an incredible experience. The most amazing and unexpected part was seeing just how many people reached out to tell me how much this project means to them and how similar the story is to their own.
The deadline is closing in fast and I still have a long way to go in order to get it funded. Kickstarter is an all or nothing fundraising platform, meaning that if we don’t reach our goal before time is up, we don’t get to keep any of the money. So right now I need your help to spread the word to your friends, family, and social networks.
Thank you and I hope this project will mean something to you just like it does to me.
A Clean World for All
by Amanda Yaira Robinson, Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light
As Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL), the environmental program of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, I work with religious people of different faith traditions, all across Texas, on environmental initiatives. As different as our religious traditions are, we share a common call to live in a balanced, respectful relationship with the earth, to care for “creation,” as it’s called in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions.
People in churches, synagogues, temples and mosques are increasingly concerned about environmental problems like air pollution, global warming, and toxic chemicals-and see more and more how problems in the environment affect the health and well-being of people. Truly, we are part of an interconnected, interdependent web of life!
Much of my focus is helping people apply the wisdom of their faith traditions to the “real-world” environmental problems we face. Right now we are excited to see local, interfaith environmental networks emerging in major cities across the state and I’m proud to say that Austin is a leader in this movement! The Interfaith Environmental Network (IEN), the Austin chapter of TXIPL, has developed a model for local, interfaith environmental community and engagement that we’re helping other Texas cities replicate.
I believe that honest interfaith engagement is an important part of the connective, healing work so needed in the world right now, for the good of all people and the planet that we share. This work challenges me to learn and grow, and is a profound blessing in my life.
Sharing Hope and Joy
by Jason Erick Taylor, Communications Coordinator of iACT
This has been a full month for me, going nonstop from sun up to sundown. I consider my time and smile because I know what I do at iACT is purposeful and has an impact.
Cultivating peace and respect through interfaith dialogue, service and celebration is something that has been close to my heart for some time. I feel so lucky to be a part of an organization that truly believes in the same ideals.
It’s not just words on a piece of paper, everyone here at iACT is a believer in our mission.
I want to personally thank everyone involved with iACT and those who helped make this year’s Hope Awards such a wonderful success.
iACT’s supporters and volunteers help us bring hope to many. Without you guys we could not fulfill our mission!
I would also like to encourage you to check out “All That Remains” by Marko Slavnic mentioned above. I know several of the cast members, including the 2 lead actors. The cast is very talented and the story is truly compelling. I believe this is a story everyone should have the opportunity to hear. Please contribute and share the information on your social network or e-mail. At iACT we work with refugees and hear many stories of those who flee their country which really shakes the heart. It is a rare chance to hear of a story of return and reconciliation. I believe in this project and hope you will consider helping it out.
The urgency is HIGH, only a FEW DAYS left on Kickstarter for this project to succeed!