Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Heart Break Productionz supports:

Executive producer (and my biz partner in Heart Break Productionz) Gary Allen Tucci and I agreed: we want Heart Break Productionz to support in word and deed a special, terrific cause that deserves kudos, financial (and other) donations and media exposure.

After some research, we decided on First Place.

First Place is a school for homeless kids in Seattle - but the staff and volunteers provide so much more than readin', writin' and 'rithmetic for youngsters without a permanent home, kids on the run with a parent escaping domestic violence, and kids who are constantly moving for whatever reason.

Donations of money, clothes, books and all sorts of school supplies are always welcome.

Teachers, staff and volunteers work to keep classes limited to 14 - there are often as many as five adults in a classroom at once, which means these kids are getting a new and positive lease on life.

I'll be showing you photos of the school's interior. It's a secure large building whose location is supposed to be confidential, but I've seen the address disclosed in places when it's not supposed to be.

The kids - my assistant Matt and I took a tour just yesterday - are really well behaved, happy and excited about learning; excited about understanding how to deal with life. Before you think they were "told" to behave, the kids didn't even know we were there.

As I told our guide Melissa. The point of good child care is not to protect children against all pain because that's impossible, but to teach kids how to deal with pain in a way that is healthy and positive so they can create rewarding lives and relationships as they grow up and have children of their own.

She emphatically agreed.

There will be much more about First Place here - photos, stories and all sorts of good stuff - as well as on the Heart Break Productionz and The Whole Truth websites soon; we're also mentioning the school in media appearances and any other opportunity we get.

Later I'll be doing some special workshops for the kids regarding writing, acting and making films; Gary is not only a great father of three kids himself and loves kids, but has a number of skills I bet youngsters would love to hear about and see. He's into boats and cars and motorcycles and all sorts of other cool things he'd love to share with the students.

Ultimately -- when our films make a profit -- we will be donating a percentage of our proceeds to the school.

This school is making a phenomenal difference to kids who otherwise would not only be at extreme risk, but unhappy, dysfunctional and lost.

Most importantly, First Place is a private, non-profit establishment, which means it can't be politicized or influenced by government input or school district politics, its budget can't be juggled and the kids don't have to worry about unexpected changes or the physical state of the building eroding.

More, the school is scheduled to expand physically and include a curriculum that will feature pre-school and kindergarten classes in the future.

Hats off to all the staff, teachers and volunteers of First Place who work hard to right the wrongs done to innocent children who now have the chance for a new start.

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