Video from Allendale, SC, one of the 10 poorest counties in the US. Invited by Joey, who’s involved in church community programs including a soccer camp organized for kids during spring break. This is possibly one of the most difficult videos I’ve had to piece together till now.

During our stay, there were two sensitive and possibly contentious dimensions that emerged and which I wish to share: first, we were invited there by a community and church member, and it was important to him and to the other volunteers that the depiction of Allendale was not one of poverty, but rather of a community hard at work towards its resurgence. Secondly, because this program was organized through church, faith and religion appeared recurrently in many of the answers of the volunteers we spoke to.

I will let you decide how these have been addressed in the video. How then to adequately portray the community, including new-found friends who took us in to their own homes? This is not journalism. But it’s important for the project’s approach that we remain open-minded and fair. It’s about being respectful to our friends and hosts, it’s also about being true to ourselves.

Music by Brian R.

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23 Responses to Road Video: SC(1) Allendale, Rebuilding Community

  1. I hope no one missunderstands me, but so often we ship supplies and people to other impoverished countries yet ignore the desperately needy in our own backyards. Just makes me wonder why “their” needy is so attractive but our is not?

    • I know what you mean. I think there is a “sexiness” of serving the poor in Africa, etc, as opposed to the impoverished county in SC, or the poverty you see in cities.

      But then again, the median income in Allendale is about $25000 / year, and the average income in Kenya is <$1000 per year. So at least the poor in this country have a better relative advantage (especially with our welfare system).

      But for the record, we shouldn't just be shipping supplies anywhere. As stated in the books Toxic Charity and When Helping Hurts, sometimes our "charity" makes things worse.

    • ooa revo says:

      Thanks for sharing / raising this point.

  2. Je constate avec grand plaisir que l’humain occupe désormais la place centrale de ton/votre projet. CQFF. J’aime aussi ces fragments d’impro entre deux prises lorsque les personnes oublient la caméra. A exploiter! Bonne continuation les gars, wish I could be with you right now…

    • ooa revo says:

      Thanks! During part 2 have tried to focus more on getting interviews of people for the movie project. Looking forward to hear about your travels, best!

  3. eebrinker says:

    really nice job on that one ….

  4. [...] can read more about the video here, read a more personal journal about their experience here, and see a few pics [...]

  5. Great to read this. Welcome change to keep it real instead of most other blogs i read where people just write about the fanstastic life they have.

  6. And if I may give a plug . . . your readers can learn more here:

    http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/

  7. Love it! Great work, Jay. Thanks for your work, and for letting us be a part.

    I’ll be sure to promote this on my blogs, and social media.

  8. Another great segment of America. Really nice capture and posting. Thanks.

  9. I’m enjoying these reports so much. I’ve postponed my own trip for now, so am doubly enjoying yours. take care, thank you. Sarah

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