Friends of Haiti Documentary

Doing Good Feels Good!

NetApp, like many corporations, affords its employees an opportunity to take paid time off to volunteer their services in a charity of their choosing. It’s a great way to do good and, in turn, feel good about making a difference in the world. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with one of their employees on a very moving video project. Dave Botterill, Account Manager in NetApp’s Calgary office, is the founder of Friends of Haiti – Canada, which delivers everything from laptops and cell phones to soccer uniforms and medicine to the impoverished country.

It was a 10-day endeavor that took me from Calgary, where I captured Dave packing up 28 bags of equipment that was donated by generous community members, to Jacmel, Haiti, which was devastated during the 2010 earthquake, leaving nearly 70 percent of the homes damaged, mostly in the poorer neighborhoods.

This is a story that practically tells itself. A caring human being looks to make a difference in the world, to help those less fortunate, and, in the process, is rewarded with a sense of purpose along with newfound relationships that have enhanced his already blessed life.

The keyword here is “practically.” Telling a good story is more than just showing up with a camera and hitting the record button. It takes years of experience to know how to put together a narrative that could easily spill over into the maudlin category and keep it focused on its simple message—we all have a responsibility to help each other.

That’s why I made Dave the narrator of this tale. He was the anchor, the eyes through which we see everything. He keeps us engaged. He keeps our attention on the needs of the Haitians and how helping them is not some insurmountable task. He regales us with the backgrounds of the people he’s come to know over the past four years and how their lives—and his—have been impacted by these visits. He shows us through his actions that doing good feels good.

And last, but certainly not least, he inspires us.Personally, I was both inspired and surprised. Inspired by my desire to want to visit Haiti again and surprised by the fact that I don’t want to go as a producer/director but as a volunteer. I’m looking forward to doing good—and to feeling good about making a difference in the world.

I invite you to view the video. And while I don’t expect you to hop on the next plane to Haiti loaded down with bags of laptops and soccer uniforms, I do hope it will inspire you to help others in any way you can.