**Elfenworks Foundation 2009 Summer Newsletter**

**Students Answer Call to Action**

The Elfenworks Foundation <http://www.elfenworks.org>
, in conjunction with Campus MovieFest, is pleased to announce the
winners of the annual film festival’s 2008-09 Elfenworks Social
Justice Award <http://campusmoviefest.com/elfenworks/>
. First place—and a $10,000 prize—went to "Homeboy Industries
," a compelling short about an LA-based gang prevention program
founded by In Harmony with Hope winner Greg Boyle. The winning team of
students calls itself Street Knowledge and hails from the University
of Southern California. “This contest empowers students by giving
them an opportunity to channel their creative passion into compelling
video that promotes positive change. Street Knowledge offers an
inspiring story, and clearly demonstrates the benefits of education
over incarceration,” said TEF founder Dr. Lauren Speeth.

A visually evocative piece called "Hands of Change
" received a special runner-up award, and ($2,500) from The Elfenworks
Foundation. TEF applauds the creativity of the student team called
JUMP from Sonoma State University.

The awards were presented on June 11 the International Grand Finale,
held at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. A number of Hollywood
celebrities were on hand to help celebrate the achievements of the
filmmakers, including James Cromwell, Christian Slater, and Don
Johnson. The Campus MovieFest is the world’s largest student film
festival. The Elfenworks Social Justice Award was created two years
ago to foster awareness of domestic poverty issues. The winning
entries will be aired on Virgin America flights this summer.

The Elfenworks Foundation is also happy to announce the winners of
the first Campus MusicFest Social Justice Award
, which were presented on the last night of the CMF International
Grand Finale in LA. Third place went to the band Tsavo for Lost and
Forgotten, a captivating tune that sets the tone for a positive plan
of action. In second place, This Time by The Constant, provides a
message of hope and optimism. And The Elfenworks Social Justice Award
first place prize (and $2,500), went to Eyeshine for Alone, a
soul-baring song written from the perspective of the homeless.

**A Night of Hope**

Boys Hope Girls Hope <http://www.boyshopegirlshope.org/>
of the San Francisco Bay Area recently celebrated the remarkable
accomplishments of their scholars at the first annual Growing Hope
Graduation Gala in downtown San Francisco. Boys Hope Girls Hope
provides at-risk children with stable homes, education, and financial
and emotional support in 16 locations in the United States and four in
Latin America.

The festive evening capped a busy week for the organization: it
followed closely on the heels of the local group’s annual golf
tournament. Nearly 200 people turned out on the evening of June 4th to
honor the program’s scholars—most notably Joshua, who graduated
and is heading to UNLV in the fall.

Gala attendees enjoyed the musical debut of our very own Commodore
Callahan <http://www.commodorecallahan.com/>
, which features songwriter, singer, and TEF founder Lauren Speeth.
They performed four songs off their album, Love is Here.

Boys Hope Girls Hope, San Francisco defied expectations in this sour
economy: they raised more money through the week’s events than ever
before! To learn a little more about graduating scholar Joshua and
Boys Hope Girls Hope San Francisco, watch Graduate Scholar Joshua

–Paul Minorini, the national executive director of Boys Hope Girls
Hope received the In Harmony with Hope award
in 2007.

“This organization TAKES MY BREATH AWAY. They pay for at-risk
talented youths to attend private schools and then send them to
colleges!!! Yup, all the boys live in the house, are looked after by
"house moms" and attend private schools. Yup, all for free. Its insane
how cool this organization is.” - Katherine R., Yelp Reviewer

**Penny Wise, Pound Foolish**

Father Peter Young received the worst kind of news in late June. With
no advance warning, the State of NY cut off funding to one of the
Peter Young Housing, Industries & Treatment housing facilities in
Manhattan. One hundred and fifty people are being forced out of safe
housing and are likely now sleeping on the streets of Manhattan. Lost
are the months—sometimes years—these individuals and PYHIT’s
staff (83 of whom also lost their jobs with this site closure) have
spent working on trust and towards sobriety and sustainability. They
were well on their way to becoming tax-paying citizens—and, now, the
mean streets are likely to send many right back to square one. Lost
jobs, increased homelessness: alas they’re familiar refrains these
days. Thank goodness Peter Young, and many like him, will persevere in
the face of this challenge. They bring hope when it’s most needed.

–The Elfenworks Foundation will present an In Harmony with Hope
Award <http://elfenworks.org/initiative_awards.html>
to Fr. Peter Young on October 15.

Kelly Seldan, Office Coordinator at The Elfenworks Foundation happened
to be visiting with Father Young in New York when he received the bad
news. She reflects:

“The last few days, I have been walking miles all over Manhattan.
It stood out to me that, relative to San Francisco, I saw very few
homeless or people living in poverty. My travel friend noted that NYC
seemed significantly "cleaner," with fewer homeless people than when
he visited in 1997. Why is this? Is it because of organizations like
PYHIT? Or is it because people living in poverty have been pushed
further to the edges of the state, while gentrification takes over and
social programs are cut? From today's closure of the PYHIT facility,
my best guess is both.”

**Teach Your Children Well**

Five-year-old Phoebe Russell recently became the youngest Elfen Works
award <http://elfenworks.org/initiative_awards.html#elfenworksaward>
winner thus far. The preschooler was recognized by The Elfenworks
Foundation for raising nearly $4,000 to benefit the San Francisco Food
Bank. She raised the money by selling used cans to a recycling center.
Along with the rest of the “graduating” preschoolers, Phoebe was
challenged by her teacher, Kathleen Albert, at the With Care Preschool
to take part in a service project. She eschewed the traditional—and
popular—lemonade stand in favor of collecting cans. In just a few
weeks, she raised thousands of dollars. Her donation will provide
nearly 18,000 free meals to San Francisco’s hungry. Video of Phoebe
and SF Food Bank director Paul Ash can be found at Phoebe Russell
Donates to SF Food Bank

Phoebe’s example is a great reminder that it is so important for
all of us to commit to doing ONE thing, even something as simple as
sending out a tweet that raises awareness about the problem of
domestic poverty. Never underestimate what sort of ripple YOU might

**Homeboy Industries' Novel Fundraiser**

How do community members in LA’s gang-plagued neighborhoods raise
money to pay for an all-too-frequent funeral? They hold a car wash.
Therein lies the idea behind Homeboy Industries’ latest fundraising
concept: a virtual car wash. So, go ahead and clean your car at
. You’ll be helping out a worthy cause.

–The Elfenworks Foundation will present an In Harmony with Hope
Award <http://elfenworks.org/initiative_awards.html>
to Homeboy Industries Founder Fr. Gregory Boyle on October 15.