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FROM OUR FOUNDER

A letter from the founder   Hello there! I would like to give you an opportunity to help. If you have ever wanted to help improve conditions on this planet then you understand part of the reason I started this project.   I have been a professional filmmaker for over 30 years and have worked on some of the biggest successes in Hollywood’s history, including Pulp Fiction, Speed and Total Recall 1990. I have also spent many years in the independent filmmaking world and have had films in many festivals and won a number of awards. In addition to that I have produced and directed over a hundred live awards events and fundraisers for charitable organizations.   I had always felt bad about conditions in the world and even though I felt I was contributing, I started to wonder if there was any real hope for the future. I kept helping others who seemed to be on the right track but I was still unsatisfied. Then I went to a wedding in India. I fell in love with India and admired so many incredible things about it, but I also saw the real trouble some of the people there were in, first hand. Then, I volunteered to go around the world with a human rights activist shooting documentary video and stills in developing countries. That is when I really saw examples of some very dire global issues. I went to 7 cities in 5 countries on 3 continents and saw people living in the highest of wealth to the lowest depths of abject poverty. During one stop alone in South-East Asia I was taken to a secret location where I met 50 of the most beautiful young women I have ever seen. They were happy, smiling and laughing. Unfortunately, what they also had in common was they were all under 18 years of age and had all been rescued from sexual slavery. They had been taken from their parents and sold to slavers to work as prostitutes against their will. It was devastating, but what could I do about it? It was too overwhelming to me.   The next year I volunteered for a second world tour. During this trip one stop was in Africa, where we were driven for two hours on a dirt road deep into the jungle. In an orphanage there I saw another group of happy, grinning faces. When I arrived they turned and chanted to me: “welcome home David!” and then they sang me a song that sounded like it was channeled from their ancestors of 60,000 years ago. These children were bare foot, their classroom an outdoor area with a dirt floor covered with a crude roof made of poles from local trees. Their kitchen was another out door area and consisted of a huge cauldron where they boiled rice and fish heads. I learned that they live on about $1 American per day. After that, I spent some long hours soul searching. What is the problem? Poverty? Shelter? Education? All of the above? Where do these problems come from? In the end it is the responsibility of the adults to care for and raise the children safely to build a future for us all. That means it is my fault. Me personally. I am an adult and I allow this to go on. For all the help I had given in the past it was not enough. I started to do some study and I learned a few upsetting things, like there are 132 million orphans in the world. I also learned that 37 million of them are what are called “at risk orphans.” That means they don’t have food, shelter or health care. No one takes care of them, no one reads them to sleep, and no one holds them when they are afraid. Somewhere in the world RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT it is 3:00 am and hundreds of thousands of children are sleeping on strips of cardboard in the rain and do not know how they are going to eat tomorrow. This is not OK.   So, the truth is I am not into blame or blaming people. I am, however, into responsibility. So I am taking some now. The study I have done from my personal observation is there is a very deep need for the children of the future to save the current adults from themselves. And that includes every one of us. The internet and modern communication devices are making the world smaller and smaller. It is now possible to be in communication with most anyone on the planet instantly with no delays. When I was a kid and I wouldn’t eat my dinner my mother gave me the popular response at the time, which was: “Think of all the starving children in China.” Now I hear people say: “Why help the poverty in Africa and other 3rd world countries when we have our own problems here?” They both had a point. But my experience is that handouts, like money and food, at best create temporary fixes that do not result in any real changes, and at worst fall into the wrong hands, and by the time the “expenses” are taken out there is almost nothing left for the children.   Now, I have always liked this saying: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” This is a proverb commonly attributed to an anonymous Buddhist author. That statement is my real belief. Sending orphans food or money for food is feeding them a fish. No matter how bad they need it, it does not help them in the long term. I am also pretty big on teaching and education, and so the second part really makes sense to me. Teaching them to fish, to build, to survive. That makes sense.   So, I said to myself: “How can I take responsibility for this global problem, put all my talents and experience together and work toward making a change?” The project “Orphans In The Storm” was born. The simplicity of it is I am going to go around the world again, but this time I will be filming and recording orphans who sing and dance. Along the way the performers will all be paid salaries, on the spot, the same as if they were working professionally. I will then call in every contact I can and make a CD and a full length documentary about them, all with the highest professional standards. I will be using my contacts in the film and recording industry to promote the CD on the radio and other venues, and I will promote the film to festivals I have relationships with to get it shown in as many festivals as I can. I will also pursue full scale distribution sources and make as many sales as possible. I am planning to sell them both at Starbucks, Whole Foods, Amazon and any other venue that will have me. I will then take the proceeds and put the money back into the orphanages. When the CD and the film are sold, I will hire reliable groups currently in existence with strong track records in this area, and provide shelter and education to the children. I will make sure those groups use the funds for the purpose intended, and not in the lining of pockets.   In short, the children will earn their way to freedom.   I will be putting every contact I have made in over 3 decades working in Hollywood into play. I already have an Academy Award® nominated film composer I have worked with agreed to do one of the songs, and he was the first person I asked! This is a big project and will need a great deal of support, both financially and with some pretty serious elbow grease. If you are interested in contributing or helping in any way check back to this website for more information. I am about to launch a fundraising campaign and a pre-production phase of the project. When that happens you will see in more detail how you can help.   These kids are the only ones that can save our future. They can’t do it in the condition they are in now. They need my help. They need your help.   If you like you can email me and I will get back to you with future updates and opportunities for you to help. My email: OrphansInTheStorm@Hotmail.com   You can also log onto three other websites I am involved with and get more information on me personally: One is my personal site:   http://davidfilmworks.com/ and the others are for 2 films I have currently playing the film festival circuit:   Robert Loveless, An American Legend at: http://www.robertloveless.com/   and I Am Neda at: http://persepolispictures.com/ ​ Thank you for your time and your interest in this very important subject. I look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, and with hope, ​ David Bartlett