About this project
Strongest Hearts, previously known as Day in the Life of Vegan Athletes, started with a simple premise: Show positive examples of veganism in action.
Stretch Goal #1- Reached!
Thanks to so many generous new supporters we reached stretch goal #1. We cannot wait to hire a web person, improve our site and make additional new videos. But you have a few days left to give to this campaign!
Stretch Goal #2: $15,000
Sounds crazy, right? But we can do it. You know why? Because when most people see our videos for the first time they say, 'This is so awesome, why I haven't I heard about this before?' I'm convinced that we simply need to get our project to more people and we can easily reach our next goal.
Here's what we can do with that additional funding:
- New film equipment, including a drone. Seriously, we aren't biting Will Potter's campaign, this is an awesome tool to film all the crazy vegans doing adventure races, ultramarathons or mountain bike races. We aim to bring you the highest quality videos and this would further that goal.
- A NYC filming session with professional arm wrestler Rob Bigwood! We
almost always travel to places where one of us has work or part of the
trip paid for somehow to save money. With this extra financing we'd go
there purposefully to film an incredible episode with Rob. While there
we'd also work with skateboarder, crossfit and recent ultrarunner Matt Kayes. And plenty of other bad-ass folks there we could profile.
- Have funds available for spontaneous filming. Often we can't just jump in a car or on a plane and head to where some exceptional vegan is competing in a unique race. But with this financial security we could. How exciting is that?
High quality videos for free
We use our professional skills, Sasha as a filmmaker, Matt as a Registered Dietitian, to make high-quality, fun and educational videos with exemplary athletes. We don't make exceptional claims about veganism- we let the athletes show what they are capable of on plant-based diets in a non-judgmental way. Veganism is extremely popular right now: we make these videos as tools for people to share with their friends who doubt that you can eat plants and get strong. It's activism in action.
DIY means doing a lot more with fewer resources
So far with minimal funding we've produced 11 episodes, all available for free on our website. We have a DIY punk rock approach- we get a lot done with minimal resources so you get a huge return on your investment in us. In all of our travels we don't spend money on hotel rooms or other frivolous things. Sasha uses their own film equipment or we borrow what we need. We sleep on the floor of friends' houses. We've spent a lot of our own money. We make this work because we are activists and we love what we do.
But it does come at a cost. Traveling is expensive, no matter how we do it. And making top notch productions with only two people is nearly impossible. We need assistants at shoots and we can't always count on volunteers to have the skills needed. Same goes for web and graphic design, marketing and promotion.
Now is the time
We have a new website and have broadened our focus to include other vegans doing amazing things. It's an exciting time! But as Sasha and I continue to get pulled in many directions, which is the case for activists who barely make ends meet, we realized we need more funding in order to continue. That's why we are turning to you.
The stories that need to be told
We were there when Donovan Jenkins ran his first 100-mile race and told his story about being an Iraq war veteran and going vegan. Matt even ran last the 26 miles with him. We profiled an Olympic hopeful who eats only raw food. There are many more inspirational stories like this to tell. And now we are depending on you to get them out there.
A vegan cardiologist who does ironmans? Her episode is in post-production. A Crossfit coach who has been vegan almost 20 years? We shot with him and are ready to show the world you don't need to eat meat to be a ripped, bad-ass Crossfit athlete. We are trying to get to Austin for the Naturally Fit Games to film more with him and the rest of the Plantbuilt team in July. Can you help us make that happen?
Thank you for considering. If you have the means to donate, we appreciate it immensely. If not, please do share the episodes we've already made. Either way, thank you. Please get in touch with any questions: strongesthearts [at] gmail.
Risks and challenges
Coordinating two busy people's schedule with all of the races and events vegan athletes do is not easy. There is stuff we simply can't get to! This is our biggest obstacle.
Another challenge ironically is the popularity of vegan athlete projects, websites, companies, etc. Sometimes there's so much noise that we can't get the videos to those who would benefit from them the most! This is where community really comes in. We know nothing is done alone and we are thankful for everyone who supports us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We will have all of the designs posted shortly so you can see exactly what you are getting! I promise they will be dope.
You can see all of them here: http://www.strongesthearts.org/category/web-series/
At Strongest Hearts our focus is on making the best videos on vegan athletes that exist. We don't want to be a t-shirt company or spend a large portion of your donation on stuff that isn't creating new episodes. The rewards we do have also cost a little more because we are committed to using high-quality, non-sweatshop materials and working with small, independent companies.
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