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A Home For Gerardo

Jerry Caruso had a very successful business remodeling kitchens. It allowed him to have a nice house. Cars. Pay for his children’s education. But it wasn’t enough. Something was missing. I need to find a way to give back, he thought.

One afternoon he met with with a doctor at Children’s Hospital. Jerry asked him if he knew of something that needed help but is often overlooked. The doctor told him that there was a lot of assistance out there for sick children, but nothing for the parents, who often struggle to be able to pay bills, and siblings, who often get left behind because their sick sibling requires so much time and attention.

“When I heard this,” Jerry said, “it hit me right in the heart.” He had found his cause for a charity.

I first met Jerry and his daughter Andrea (who does day-to-day operations for the charity) about a year ago. We had a great meeting in which we discussed their need for a high-quality, heart-felt video for their upcoming fundraising event. In the past they had worked with someone from 9News who had volunteered his services to create videos for them. They were thankful for his work and time and the videos worked well for where they were as an organization at that time. But they were growing. And they wanted to grow even more so they could help that many more families. They were ready for a video that was professional and had a high impact.

After listening to them discuss their goals for the video, I thought the kind of authentic, documentary style video driven by people’s stories that I specialize in would be a good fit for accomplishing their needs. Over the next month we worked together to create this video about a family in Longmont with a daughter with a terminal illness. Her mom was struggling to pay her bills. My crew filmed Jerry and Andrea in real time as they visited the family and revealed what they would do to help.

In the fall, Andrea reached out to me to create another video. They were in the middle of their biggest family assistance project yet, which was helping a family find a home following a child’s long battle with aplastic anemia. After seven years at Children’s Hospital, the child’s doctors determined he was finally well enough to live off site. Andrea wanted a video telling that story, which they could use at their fundraiser later this spring. I was happy to help.

One of the great joys I have in working with nonprofits is seeing how my work can affect people in need in a very direct and immediate way. Some of the funding Jerry and Andrea had raised to help this family came from showing prospective donors the previous video I created. When done right, videos pay significant dividends for nonprofits that choose to invest in them.

The video above is the finished product. It’s a very touching story and it had me in tears editing it. Enjoy.

Doug Gritzmacher

Still + Motion Photographer

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