By Kristin Stankus, digital community and social media specialist
Who is BayKids Studios?
Lights, Camera, Healing…that is the motto of San Francisco based BayKids Studios, our 2014 Give Good campaign partner. Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is so excited to work with this amazing local organization and to provide our donors with the opportunity to participate in the BayKids mission: to help children facing long-term hospitalization heal through the power of filmmaking.
How they got their start
In 1997, Dave Spencer, having spent time in the hospital as a young adult after a serious car accident, recognized the importance of great medical care. He worked with a friend of his, who was a filmmaker, to create an organization that would allow hospitalized children a creative outlet. Dave is now Chairman of the Board and entrusts the day-to-day operations to Devora Kothari, executive director of BayKids Studios.
Devora shared with us the essence of BayKids as an organization:
“Thanks to BayKids, a kid in a hospital becomes a kid with a camera and a story to tell. Through the transformative power of filmmaking, kids can explore their creativity, express their vision, and discover their unique voice. In the process they transcend the hospital experience and for a moment leave behind their illness, their fears, and their isolation to become the heroes of their own story.”
Film has an enormous ability to take these children out of the four walls of their hospital room and empower them to tell their unique stories. Throughout the filmmaking process, children learn how to create a film from beginning to end, starting with developing the story line and creating storyboards, to designing props and scenery, and shooting the movies with professional filmmaking equipment. To date, BayKids has worked with over 6,000 children to produce approximately 500 films!
“We can’t supply the cure. But we can supply the cameras and the movie-making expertise that transform hospitals into movie studios and patients into filmmakers, directors, storytellers, and actors. By helping children make videos, we overcome the limitations of their illness,” Kothari adds.
A partnership is formed
Stanford Blood Center sees thousands of donors each year and every one has a special story to tell about why they donate. When considering possible partners for this year’s Give Good campaign, the storytelling theme was at the center. When SBC reached out to BayKids as a potential partner, it became clear almost immediately what a great relationship it would be. Donor and patient stories are individually powerful and to see the connection between the two is even more powerful. “It seemed like a great fit from the start since our kids films often give a window to what is going on in their world. It’s wonderful for generous people who donate their blood to have an opportunity to watch BayKids’ films and experience this strong connection to those whom they may be helping,” says Kothari.
How you can help
Get inspired! BayKids’ films are available for you to view on their YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/baykidsfilmmakers. Take a moment to enjoy a few short films created by patients and see firsthand what great, inspirational work BayKids is doing. Then, make an appointment to donate during our Give Good campaign December 12-28. For every donor that rolls up his or her sleeve during the campaign, we will make a monetary donation to help fund a patient film.