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The Hardest Thing I Do

I hate asking for money.  It’s hard and I feel like I’m being obnoxious.  Especially this year when everyone needs help.  I had no issues asking my parents for money when I was a teen, but in decades of producing television, it’s probably why all my projects have been funded by others, and why that documentary I swore I would someday self-fund is still undone.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage to have your hand out no matter how worthy the cause.  

Years ago, Ginny Jordan recommended I read a book called The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.  Ginny is one of the founders of BeadforLife.  She is a philanthropist and has helped raise funds for significant causes and documentaries.  Sensing how uncomfortable I was doing development for my projects she suggested I read it.  The enduring lesson in the book is that people want to give to causes they believe in.  Money flows to projects people want to get behind.  It makes them feel good.

Although the book had impact on me, I haven’t gotten up the nerve to ask until now.  The time has come.  For 18 months, I’ve been working on a hyperlocal journalism project called Bucket List Community Café that I believe is doing good for the community.  It started as a Facebook site to offer up my impressions of my new neighborhood in North Denver.  Over time it has evolved into a community resource.  Grassroots journalism by walking around.   

Bucket List Community Café is on social media and the web.  It covers the news, issues, happenings, culture, people, places and small businesses in our diverse North Denver neighborhoods.  We are reaching thousands of people a month and our discoveries are often picked up by larger news media that have the resources to go more in depth.  We are growing and we are motivated knowing that community journalism is important to our community.  

But community journalism also requires participation from the community.  All of us who are working in this space need your support.  Even well-established publications and digital media need those who use it to infuse it.  With your contributions or investment, we will be able to pay Abby who is writing for you and Alex who is doing all of our social media.  We will be able to bring you more original content and stories about those who are making a difference in the community.  We will be able to dig deeper to tell your stories and hear your voices.        

In my career I have been influenced by amazing journalists.  One of my heros, and one I’ve had the opportunity to work with, is Tom Brokaw.  He has a memorable quote that sums up my passion.  “It’s all storytelling, you know. That’s what journalism is all about.”  I am a storyteller and Bucket List Community Café is your platform for telling stories and getting conversations going in North Denver.  YOUR VOICE.  YOUR COMMUNITY.  And now we need YOUR HELP.  Will you please contribute to our modest goal of raising $2021 for our big plans in 2021.  Thank you and please donate HERE.  

Written by

Vicky Collins is a freelance television producer and journalist based in Denver, Colorado with a diverse portfolio of projects that include network news, cable programming, Olympic sports, corporate and non-profit videos. Some of her most satisfying assignments have been covering disasters, working in the slums of developing countries and telling stories of people who show great courage in the face of adversity. She has been in all 50 states and on six continents and many of her television stories and photos are posted on her website at To contact Vicky Collins directly email or tweet @vickycollins.

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