Jason Carr and his friend, Krystof Andres, are leaving for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in less than a month. The two will be part of a Free Wheelchair Mission group that will assemble and distribute 1,100 desperately needed free wheelchairs in six days to the people of Haiti.
But Jason and Krystof have a different primary agenda. They have chosen to document their experiences with the mission as well as the current situation in Port-au-Prince, and for that, they will be taking some serious video equipment with them. Through the use of high-definition video and still photography, the two will film as much as possible, hoping to help the Haitian people, and to show the world the power of a simple chair with four wheels.
“I’m so committed to this cause,” Jason said. “If I have any skills at all that can help lift people off the ground, then this is going to be one of the most amazing and important things I do in my lifetime.”
Jason is a self-proclaimed handyman, and a professional cameraman. He intends to wear both hats for duration of his journey.
“If you would have asked me last year or five years ago, what I want to be when I grow up, I would have said that I want to travel the world, and I want to document nature and culture,” Jason said with a wide, gap-toothed grin and childlike enthusiasm.
“I’ve always wanted to give back,” Jason said. “It feels good to combine giving with what it is I enjoy doing.”
But time is not the only thing that is required of Jason on this trip, and the costs are quickly adding up.
“Project Lifted is just a name I assigned to what I’m doing to raise money to go on the trip, to help build and distribute the chairs and document everything,” Jason said.
Jason and Krystof have started a website,http://fwm.kintera.org/projectlifted
to help support their expenses, and to raise money for twenty-five additional wheelchairs. Jason and his friends are also organizing several upcoming fundraising events in Long Beach and Santa Monica.
“Just watch the videos; look at the Free Wheelchair Mission’s YouTube channel. Look at the slideshows. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen,” Jason said. “And to think that I’m going to be part of that? It’s the best. Knowing that I have skills that I can lend to help these people, that’s what it’s about.”
To help with Jason’s cause, log on to http://www.projectlifted.org/
. Learn more by joining the Project Lifted Facebook page and sign up to follow the two on Twitter. You can also visit Jason and Krystof at the Basement Lounge in Long Beach on May 8, World Café in Santa Monica on May 11, or go to www.freewheelchairmission.org
to learn more about the wheelchairs and the organization.
Krystof Andres (left) and Jason Carr (right) sit in front of the Project Lifted Installation they made at a small gallery on 4th and Cherry in Long Beach, CA.