‘Project C’ Promotes Local Charities by Engaging Public
The leaders of Project C, Annette Drapac and Tony Guglielmi, both juniors majoring in interactive media, wanted to use their skills to create multimedia content to benefit the Southeast Ohio region.
The 30 members of the project raised money through private donations and produced a short documentary, an interactive infographic and a brief article on four local charities: the OU chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Good Works, Inc., the Jethro Project and Community Food Initiatives.
Users can visit the website and vote on the cause they feel is most important. The money raised – close to $1,000 – will be divided among the charities based on the percentage of votes. Every person visiting the site is allotted two votes per day. Voting will end June 6 at midnight.
Drapac was inspired by the Pepsi Refresh Project, but wanted to take a different approach. “Instead of organizations putting their content out,” she said, “we would go to them and create the content for them… and allow community members to vote on the one they wanted to.”
The charities represented by Project C cover a wide variety of services throughout the area.
Habitat for Humanity has volunteers build houses for those in need in order to help eradicate substandard housing. Good Works, Inc. is a Christian organization that provides support and a community for struggling with poverty, homelessness and recovery.
The Jethro Project helps at-risk children become better educated by providing tutoring and a safe after-school atmosphere. The mentors are from Ohio University’s College of Education and work with Athens Middle School students. Community Food Initiatives assists low-income families in finding easier access to healthy foods.
Drapac and Guglielmi both hope that Project C will inspire those in the community to get involved with organizations that they might not have known about.
“It’s kind of like a platform for people to jump off of,” said Drapac. “We’re giving them the resources to know what organizations there are… and then what you can do to volunteer.”
Each charity received the Project C group well, allowing them the access needed to produce in-depth stories. Drapac explained that the process was about building a relationship with the people of the organizations.
“It’s a pretty sensitive situation. The documentary that I worked on was [on] Good Works. Any time you start to make a documentary there’s always an issue of trust,” said Drapac. “You go there once, and feel it out, you go there twice, it gets a little better. After you’re there five times, everyone knows who you are. That’s when the true essence starts to come out and it becomes really easy to work with them.”
Gugliemli agreed, and said, “The access that we got for these pieces was really substantial … I’ve never really seen a Good Works piece to the extent that I’ve seen on our site. And it’s all due to the trust that we had to build. We didn’t have any other motivation than showcasing them.”
Although sponsored by The Ohio University Multimedia Society, Project C will remain separate from the university in order to allow the organization to expand beyond the Athens area.
“Southeast Ohio is a great place to start, but there are so many other communities out there that could have the same problems,” Gugliemli said. “We hope that other students, other storytellers, will join us in telling that story and starting their groups.”
Gugliemli said that although the whole process was stressful for the entire group, it was well worth it in the end.
“The stories are from the heart,” he said. “When it came together, it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced.”