Watch. Love. Give. ~ December 6, 2015
|With all the distressing news, here and in other countries, many of us feel powerless to make a difference. Deep down, I know that love is more powerful than fear, ignorance and hate, though it's not the loudest voice lately, especially in the media. We are all connected, whether we can feel it or not ~ or whether we even want to be.|
Little Pearls speak directly to the heart. Even in our polarized, traumatized world, they can reach a viewer’s mind by first going through the heart. Laughter, tears and delight have that power. We have always aimed to shine a light of love and compassion, and I hope each of us can do that as much as possible ~ especially now.
"Little Pearls is a mission to create small moments of wonder and awe in this sometimes troubling world." ~ Jill Zimmerman
|WATCH. LOVE. GIVE. ~ We need your support, please!|
|After a long hiatus, we have FOUR new Little Pearls in the works! Rather than bury our need for funding, I'm going to put it at the top this time. We have shot all the footage for one new Pearl. We will need more footage for the other three, plus the cost of editing all four. The rest of our work is still volunteer-based. Please:|
This design is brand new, created for us by a young woman named Emily, who I hope will be able to work with us much more. She sees the new Pearls on the right as going out into the world to make a difference. I also see them joining others on our lovely String of Pearls. A New Look
- WATCH: what we've already created on greatlittlepearls
- LOVE: No link here ~ this is an inside job!
- GIVE: We have always pointed to situations that would benefit from our viewers' awareness and support. In this time of giving, your gift is important to us, too.
|New Pearls Coming: Little Boy Wonder plus two more|
|Each Pearl is created from an idea about a real person, animal or situation in our lives, filmed documentary-style without actors or scripts. Depending on the footage we obtain, the concept may shift, and sometimes an original idea expands to include extra Pearls. That has happened with our little boys.|
Filming is almost complete with three very young boys who are in that space of wonder between babyhood and boyhood. The idea for new Pearls with these children came from their charming photos and stories on Facebook. Our sense is that all children at this age live in a state of wonder much of the time, yet many boys lose it as they mature. Can we help them retain that openness and joy as they grow? If so, how would our world change?
We filmed 20-month-old Ben and his mother Devon in April at their beautiful country home and here on my porch with the dogs and cats.
Ben turned 2 this summer and is an active, engaged, expressive little boy. He has moved to a new home with Devon and Todd and has been on several big trips, all with a wonderful openness. Look at that smile!
The Little Boy Wonder Pearl will wait until we finish filming the youngest boy.
17-month-old Zi and his parents Jana and Seth were filmed in two locations late Spring 2015: the WNC Nature Center and their home. Zi was almost a year old when his parents adopted him from a Chinese orphanage. He recently turned 2.
It’s heartening to see Zi thriving as he engages with his new world. He truly belongs in his new family, and it feels absolutely meant-to-be. There is enough beautiful footage of them for an extra Pearl on Adoption.
We will begin putting Zi's Adoption Pearl together first since we have all the footage. It may be completed by the end of the year, or at least early in the New Year. I'm excited to be making a new Little Pearl again, finally!
Zi's mother Jana put together a video of their journey to China to bring Zi home. It's a touching, beautiful story that will give you their rich background.
We were able to get good footage of much younger Julian, his parents Amber and Donte and extended family at his first birthday party in September. We will film him again in early Spring when he's close to the ages of Ben and Zi at their time of filming, for inclusion in Little Boy Wonder.
Depending on the footage we can capture, there may be a third Pearl with just Julian, given all the news lately about how dangerous it is for black boys and men in our country. Julian could help us open hearts. This precious child, like all children, deserves a world that meets him as he really is – not as some fearful stereotype.
Julian's grandmother is Glenis Redmond, a performance poet who honed her skills here and now travels the country. Her own grandmother was the subject of the very first Little Pearl: Great Katie. Filming Julian feels like a tender return to this family, and we'll see what unfolds when we can get together again.
Here is Julian with his mother Amber. He's a happy little guy!
|And Another Pearl Coming: Kida & her Whales|
|A fourth new Pearl, partially filmed in late September on my vacation, is about the love that connects a marine biologist named Carrie Newell, her old dog Kida and the summer resident gray whales off Depoe Bay, Oregon.|
I have loved these California gray whales for 39 years and have visited them many times. The interaction between them and Kida, who has been going out on the ocean since she was a puppy, is most definitely a Pearl!
We tried filming a year ago, but a wild ocean didn't cooperate. This time, the only trip out on a zodiac with a cameraman from Portland, also on rough seas, did not give us enough footage for the Pearl. We're waiting for more from the marine biologist.
In the meantime, here is 17 minutes of raw footage of a young whale named Vader, who I saw on each of my seven trips out on the ocean the week I was there. This close encounter with little Vader, filmed by a zodiac captain named Al, happened a couple days before I got there. I'd have been over the moon to be that boat! I hope we can have some of this footage to include in the Pearl.
|Our "Sneak Peek" Fundraiser in September|
|Our event was as sweet as it gets, especially in terms of the open, warm energy of the people present. I don't think I've ever been to a fundraiser that felt so good. Two of our little boys, Ben and Zi, even brought their parents!|
Thank you to everyone who came and who helped make it happen. Special thanks to Kat Williams for her wonderful music, to hosts Harvey and Silvio for sharing their beautiful home, and to two local TV news celebrities Darcel Grimes and Jason Boyer.
We love you all!
|A Time of Giving and Sharing|
|At this point in the life of Little Pearls, we do not yet have grant resources or corporate sponsors. We depend on individual and small business donors to fund our work. At this end-of-year and holiday time, please help us fund these new Pearls.|
For a gift of $100 or more, you can be listed as a Sponsor.
We still have our beautiful DVDs available, too ~ they would make great gifts!
We are grateful for all investments of time, money and ideas. If you or someone you know can volunteer, donate, be a Sponsor, serve on our small board or suggest a connection, please let me know.
Warmly, with gratitude
Executive & Creative Director
GreatLittlePearls on YouTube
(photo by Lee Barnhardt Hatling, Big Yellow Mountain, NC - 11-1-15)