At the time that I have started writing this blog post, it is 3:36pm on January 28th and the Humans of New York Campaign has raised $953,000. Their goal was $100,000.
Humans of New York is a blog started by Brandon Stanton. The concept is simple. He meets people as he walks around New York City, takes their portrait and then asks them a few questions about their life. He then posts the portrait on his Facebook page with a short story about the individual.
Brandon posted the photo below on January 19th of Vidal:
As any good photojournalist does, Brandon asked to meet Vidal’s principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn. They decided to run a campaign to raise money to send each sixth grader in their school to visit Harvard. “I want every child who enters my school to know that they can go anywhere and that they will belong,” said Ms. Lopez. Their goal was $100,000 and with 8 days still left of the campaign, they have almost received 10 times the amount.
What started as a simple portrait has now collected almost $1 million in donations proving once again that images are powerful. They have the ability to expose and bring light to people and situations that would have never been seen otherwise. With the click of a shutter, the world met a young man living in a neighborhood with the highest crime rate in New York City. This isn’t your typical image of one of the roughest areas of New York City but that is where the power lies. Vidal is like any other middle schooler in the United States but he lives in an extreme environment. Through Vidal and Brandon’s brief connection through the camera, a school and a community has a chance to be forever changed.
Of course, Humans of New York has quite a following but it all started because Brandon picked up his camera and started taking pictures. This is a beautiful example of the importance of photography and how it can make a difference.
In the 30 minutes it took me to write and edit this post HONY has now raised $958,226. That’s over $5000 in 24 minutes.
To read more about the campaign and to donate, click here.