Changing the world... one frame at a time.
MFG NEWS / NOUVELLES DU MFG
The Hemp For The Homeless project has successfully distributed all 50 "Hemp Help Kits" (twice the number originally anticipated) to homeless agencies and homeless individuals in Montreal.
You can read the latest project update here at my Ez Sez Blog, whereas below you can read about the somewhat-unbelievable-yet-true origins of Hemp For The Homeless.
Thanks for your interest in the project!
How it all began:
Posted October 25th, 2006 by Ezra Soiferman:
I'll start by saying that this whole Penny Idol thing has been pretty much the most surreal thing I've been involved in all year.
It began with filmmaker Raphael Levy announcing in June that he'd be creating a short film called The Hermitian Penny that would star a Canadian penny. For the film, Raphael and his team would hosting an online contest called Penny Idol to find the star (I repeat: a penny) of their film.
They emailed everyone they knew asking them to submit a single penny along with a name for the penny and a short explanation as to why it should be the star of Raphael's upcoming short film.
I submitted a 2006 penny I'd found on the street that week. I named it 'Juan Redscent'. I wrote a poem (reprinted below) to explain why my penny was worthy of being a star and I mailed it in with my penny taped to the entry form.
There were 4 rounds of voting over a bizarre 5 month period and my penny somehow (but mostly through the help of friends, family, associates and strangers who voted for it) managed to pull ahead of the other fifty or so pennies in competition. At a live event at the Mile-End Cultural Center (AKA "Main Hall" on St-Laurent) on October 23rd, it was announced to the audience that Juan had wound up winning the contest. This was more surreal than the contest itself. I was humbled. Juan was too.
The prize? $500!
As I'd announced during the last 2 rounds of voting, here's what I decided to do with the prize...
Use the $500 to assemble and distribute custom Hemp For The Homeless 'Hemp Help Kits' to as many people on the street as possible in my beloved home town, Montreal...
The free Hemp Help Kits will include:
-Ultra-soft hemp/cotton long sleeve T-shirt
I'm in the process now of contacting suppliers in Canada and the USA for the various contents in the above kits. I hope to make at least 25 kits and pass them out on the streets of Montreal as soon as they are ready.
Best wishes from me and Juan Redscent. Thanks to all who voted round after round. Your 2 cents on the importance of helping out has made a difference and I am extremely grateful. So is Juan.
Amazing what one red cent and a few well-placed votes can do.
The poem about Juan:
THE BALLAD OF JUAN REDSCENT
My penny flew in from outer space as a speck of heavenly dust in a meteor shower
My penny was trucked across the land as a rusty chunk of metal
My penny was pressed into a bar of copper and packed, as a faceless brick, into a crowded freight train
My penny was fed into the Mint's stamping machine where it felt its new identity coming on strong
But my penny was not identical: it flitted, unsatisfied, from cash register to cash register,
My penny, tonight, found me outside the door to my new car (which in retrospect cost a pretty penny)
My penny won the contest and I got five hundred bucks
My penny will set out again across the land
My penny has hope.
I share with you my penny. Please share it with others too.
Thanks again to all who helped with Hemp For The Homeless. More info on the project at the Ez Sez Blog.