Spark! Circus (http://www.sparkcircus.org) is a nonprofit organization with a specific focus on the thousands of underprivileged Burmese refugee children living in Thailand along the Thai/Burmese border. Spark! reaches out through circus arts and play to provide them with the fun, joy and laughter that should be part of any childhood, in contrast to the tough reality they wake to face every single day.
Ever since I began street performing/busking with my hula hoops in March 2012, it became clear to me through my interactions with my audiences that my purpose with hooping was to bring joy and wonder to others. Children particularly stop in their tracks and light up with amazement, often pointing and yanking on their parents' hands to come closer for a better look. Often, I have ended up with children hooping next to me with my spare hoops, huge smiles plastered on their faces and yelling out to look at what they can do. Nothing in my hoop journey has been more rewarding than these interations with innocence, and it makes all of the hard work and difficult times as an artist worth it.
At the same time, I have always had an innate desire to travel to reach out to those who are in real need. Going through hard times in 2012, I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life more than anything at that moment, and the answer that my heart gave was to travel and reach out to disadvantaged children through circus arts. Soon thereafter, I came upon Spark! This is my incredible opportunity to take my passion for hooping and entertainment, and do something truly meaningful in the world.
What will we be doing?
In the daytime we will perform and create interactive play workshops in villages and at schools, hospitals, special-needs centers, orphanages and the huge refugee camps where thousands of people try to live together sustainably. After sunset, we will perform fire shows for entire communities, so that not just the children but also their parents and all of the members of the communities have a chance to embark on a magical experience.
What will the funds go toward?
Each volunteer is asked to raise at least $1,000 as part of our participation in the program, which will cover my transportation, lodging and meals once in Thailand, as well as our donations of hula hoops and other props that we will be gifting to the places/children that we visit. I am also raising funds to cover my travel expenses to/from Thailand, as well as any extra expenses associated with travel and while there, as I will not be able to work otherwise during my seven weeks in Thailand. Any extra funds raised beyond my goal will be used to purchase props and costuming that I will use in Thailand and beyond. Any funds raised beyond that will go toward technology to document my experience in a blog. In other words, all funds raised will be used to share, share more and share better! That is not only my goal for this fundraiser, but also as an artist in life in general. <3
All of the rewards that I'm offering are handmade by me or are otherwise a return of my skills and energy to my donors. For material rewards not picked up in person, I am also asking that you cover the specific shipping costs to you, so as not to dilute the value of your donation.
Other ways to help?
As I mentioned, we will be gifting hula hoops and other props to the children that we visit. If you are a supplier of hula hoops and/or other props, or of hoop-making supplies or supplies to make other props, and would like to make a material donation, please contact me at [email protected]
Also, any sharing of this fundraiser is greatly appreciated! :)