#WRawesome Online: Danny Michel’s support of Ocean Academy

I feature an interesting website, blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page or other online destination related to Waterloo Region on CKWR with Randolph J. Johnston called #WRawesome Online, Mondays at about 12:30. Here is the Midday with RJ’s Facebook page.

I hope by doing so that I’ll help people find places online that help them to connect to their community–online and in the real world. By doing so, I hope to help people find online places that they might not find otherwise and make our community a better place to live.

For folks looking for communications advice, you can get tips from each selection featured. I’ll highlight at least one example in my weekly post.

#WRawesome Online: Danny Michel’s support of Ocean Academy

Being a big fan of Danny Michel, I was very excited to hear that he had a show in Waterloo–and that I could attend. Being a native son, Danny’s successful career as a singer/songwriter means he is part of what makes Waterloo Region awesome but that is not what I’m highlighting here today.

Today, we’re celebrating Danny’s efforts as a fundraiser. In a preview of the show, I was surprised to read that he was working to raise $30,000 for a high school in Belize. What caught my attention in particular was learning that he was using videos to showcase the need and the results.

The goal is to hit the $30,000 target by the end of 2011. The total raised to date is $27,660.

This video is a tour of Ocean Academy

This high school didn’t exist until recently and is the first and only high school on its island. Previously many students couldn’t afford to attend high school on the mainland. But even with the school, help is needed since its only partially funded by the government of Belize.

This video shows when Danny delivered $20,00o to the school

Help Danny hit the $30,000 goal by December 31

In recent weeks, we’ve focused on giving close to home. Danny reminds us that there are many outside of Canada who also need our help. Visit the Danny Michel Ocean Academy Fund to learn more about his project. There’s also a link to make a gift and help him reach his target.

Thank you from Ocean Academy’s students

Maybe you can find it in your heart

You hear bits and pieces of this song in the earlier videos, here’s the full song.

The power of video

From a communications perspective, I am spotlighting Danny Michel’s efforts because it shows the power of using videos to make your case, to recognize donors and to say thank you. While I wish the case was presented even stronger, there is no doubt that these videos are helping to raise funds for a cause that would otherwise be overlooked even with Danny Michel’s backing.

These videos are reasonably polished but not in a way that is out of reach for many of you. But even this level of quality is not absolutely necessary to benefit from the power of video. Find ways to work video into your communications and social media mix in 2012.

Update December 23

Wow! WE DID IT!! Where do I even begin? The Ocean Academy fund has reached its goal of $30,000.00!! With 1 day and 19 hours to spare. When I started this back in September I truly thought I‘d only be able to scrape together a few grand, maybe five. The $30,000 target seemed unrealistic but I thought why not? After presenting this project in the most honest & simple way I could, an incredible thing happened. I was, and still am, amazed by your generosity, and the generosity of everyone who helped us achieve our goal.

When I arrived in Belize I was humbled beyond words by the appreciation and kindness of the school and the assembly they held. This has been a life changing time for me, full of many lessons.

My deepest thanks to Heidi, Haywood (Stacy Anna & the staff at Sea Dreams Hotel) Joni, Dane, Scotty & Sally for their generous hospitality and taking care of me.

Please remember, while this money is a tremendous help the school is in a constant struggle to stay afloat, so my Ocean Academy Fund will remain open to donations.

With a new year starting, I realize I’ve been blessed with endlessly amazing gifts. Friendships and bonds with the kids, families and more. I have the best music fans there are – period. I couldn’t ask for greater family and friends and I’m honored to play music with some of the finest & funniest musicians anywhere. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart and can assure you your donations are in effect and making a difference. I’ll be visiting the school again in a few months and promise another little movie & report.

Have a great holiday & a wonderful 2012!

Danny Michel