Would anyone like to donate $1300 to me?

9 01 2014

A couple months ago, I was in my room, moving some things around on my desk. I was trying to see if I needed to buy a desktop computer to edit a short scene for an assignment for my film production class when I felt a slight tug on my pants as I moved. The next thing I know, I hear something crash to the floor.

My hard drive. The one with the films I’ve been working on for a few years, as well as all the files to them.

The shell came loose and I easily popped it back into place, and it didn’t seem too damaged. Unfortunately, it made whirring sounds when I plugged it in my laptop, and my computer didn’t detect that anything had been connected.

A few days later, I took it to a repair shop where they ran some diagnostics and determined that the actual components in the hard drive were broken. It would cost at least $750 to repair. I went around to a few other shops, but they all said the same thing.

The last place I went to, which is where my hard drive currently is, they were nice enough to explain exactly what was wrong with it and told me it would cost $1300 to repair the hard drive and then to recover the data. The data of all my films.

I have never been the type of person to ask for help. My friends will attest to that. I always try to solve problems my own way because they’re my problems. But there are times when I do need help, and this is one of those cases.

I honestly don’t like asking for money, but I’m still a student (with a part-time job). And although I technically can afford to pay this, it’s a pretty big hit on my bank account.

So if there’s anyone, say an older, white sugar daddy who likes young Asian guys (kidding, by the way) and would like to help out a struggling filmmaker/artist, I would be beyond grateful and appreciative. I could make and send you a very sparkly thank-you card!

Anyway, thanks for reading this far. If you want to help me out, I’m sure we can arrange something on paypal or something. Send me an email: aaron@theaaronchan.com.

Oh, and have a funky day.


Reuse: Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

29 05 2013

Reduce, reuse, recycle. A great motto to live by.

Recycling is fairly easy and straightforward, especially when there are lots of places around Vancouver to do so, but about reusing? Where do you go with items that can reused and not resold, like the Salvation Army or Value Village? Where can you donate your items for a good cause?

For the past few days, I’ve been going around and donating some stuff I no longer need to various organizations and charities around Vancouver. I should have been making a list of resources of my progress– but it’s never too late!

Last week, I went through my bathroom and found some toiletries– travel-sized toothpaste, some opened lotions/moisturizers, and a bottle of unopened hair gel– that I wouldn’t be using. I scoured the Internet to find a place that might accept toiletries, and many people suggested women’s shelters (in general, not specific to Vancouver). That’s how I found the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, located at 302 Columbia Street (by Cordova, downtown Vancouver).

They have a wishlist of donations they are always accepting. Here is their list, taken from their website (http://dewc.ca/donate):

  • arts and craft supplies
  • used DVDs
  • used women’s clothing
  • linens and towels
  • socks and underwear (new or gently used)
  • footwear
  • coats and rain-gear
  • toiletries (travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, new soap, toothpaste and brushes, hand cream and makeup)
  • picture frames
  • chalk
  • gardening supplies
  • mason jars
  • button maker
  • alcohol wipes
  • hand sanitizer pump dispensers
  • craft supplies: beading supplies, knitting needles and yarn, plain vests for sewing regalia
  • usb/flashdrive’s
  • reading glasses
  • menstrual pads

It doesn’t say explicitly, but it’s implied that the shelter doesn’t take opened cosmetics/lotions, and when I contacted them if they might accept the unopened hair gel, they didn’t respond (I ended up putting it in the bag anyway, since I don’t see why they wouldn’t accept it). I did find a whole bunch of photo frames in my garage that were hardly used (and two small ones that had never been used), which I gladly put in my donation bag. As well, I went through my DVD collection, and picked a whole bunch of films that I would probably no longer watch. Sure, I could have posted an ad on craigslist to sell them, but everyone’s selling DVDs nowadays that I likely wouldn’t have been able to get rid of them. And anyway, the money is not what’s important in this case.

IMPORTANT! (if you are a man): A young lady who was also going in held the door for me. When I was inside, a woman who worked there asked me if she could help me, and I replied that I had some items I wanted to donate. She informed me that since I was a man, I was supposed to ring the bell and wait for someone to come and talk to me, not walk right in. Immediately, I apologized, as I could see why this might be a necessary precaution. There was nothing on the DEWC’s website that mentioned anything about that, so I had no idea.

So if you happen to be a man and are looking to go down to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre to donate some items — ring the bell!

In summary, here are the deets:

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Address: 302 Columbia Street (by Cordova); ring the bell if you are a man.
– Donations are accepted between 9am – 5pm. Avoid dropping off items between 12:30pm -1:45pm as staff are on their lunch breaks.
– Have an item but not sure if it’s appropriate to be donated? Give them a call! 604-681-8480, extension 226, or email them at funddevelopment@dewc.ca



Y4Y Reading and Fundraiser

17 02 2013

Time for some shameless self-promotion!

I’ve been organizing a reading/fundraiser for Covenant House for the past month, and we have a date!  The Y4Y: Youth For Youth Reading and Fundraiser will be happening on Saturday March 2nd at the Rhizome Cafe (317 East Broadway) in Vancouver.  The night starts at 7:00pm and I’ve planned for it to end at around 9:00 but the folks at the Rhizome have let me know that there’s no rush to wrap up the night, and most likely, we’ll have some time after the reading to chat and have some fun.

There will also be a book raffle during intermission, with the books written and donated by the Creative Writing faculty, and the proceeds thanking Rhizome for letting us use their lovely place.  I have the books with me right now and let me tell you, I want to keep them.  I’d come to the event just for the raffle!

The kitchen will also be open before, during, and after the event, so come and enjoy some delicious food and drinks while you hear the Undergrads from the Creative Writing program read their stuff!

Hope to see you all there!


Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/409429542485355/?fref=ts

Ice cream for all?

27 02 2012

There’s a groupon for 53% off 12 Dairy Queen Dilli Bars or DQ Ice Cream Sandwiches, which is really good!  I would get it myself but I’m trying not to eat any more ice cream since it’s not as healthy as frozen yogurt.  It’s still really delicious though, and I want to get this groupon but I don’t know what I would do with so much ice cream.  A thought came to me: what if I bought it and went around to, say, the Children’s Hospital or something and handed them out to the kids?  Although I’d have to keep them frozen somehow… a cooler, maybe?  I want someone’s input but I don’t think I have much time to buy the groupon if I choose to do that.

Any thoughts?

Help me fund my next short film!

8 12 2011

Hey everyone!  Here’s my next film project that’s in the works at the moment.  We’re looking for some help from all of you so take a look and leave a donation for some swanky stuff!


Our Story
Hey!  My name’s Aaron and I’m a filmmaker/musician/writer from Vancouver, Canada.  Here’s a bit about my project which I wrote and will be directing, tentatively titled, June, named after Tchaikovsky’s Baracolle piano piece (if anyone has other suggestions for a title, let me know!)Do you believe in ghosts?  Do you believe in love in the afterlife?  June is a short, silent film about a man named Luke who tries to play piano in the middle of the night to communicate with his lover, Sebastien, who is alive.  The only problem: Luke is a ghost.  Will he be able to contact Sebastien before the end of the night or are his attempts simply futile? June is a tragic, sad, but beautiful story about the lengths we go for love.

The Impact

This project is one that I hold very close to me, one that I want to spend a lot of time to make perfect as a work of art.  The painful experience of losing a loved one and being haunted by them (metaphorically) is something to which everyone can relate.  In essence, June is universal in its message about love and loss.

As well, there are many romantic gay-themed films out there that feature typical gay people or that have all-too familiar plots.  Although June is a romance film with two gay characters, it’s not a gay story per se; there are no stereotypes, no dramatic coming out scenes.  I believe this is an honest, simple story, which are hard to find amongst gay/lesbian cinema today.

What We Need & What You Get

We’re looking for a total of $2500 for equipment rentals, food, to pay our cast and crew, and post-production services including video transferring (it’s really expensive!).  As of now, indiegogo is our only funding source.

There are lots of amounts you can choose to donate!  And for the highest amount, $250, I will either write you a one-minute ditty about you or perform a cover song of your choosing and post it to youtube for the world to see how fantastic and generous you really are!  Only a limited amount of people can claim this, so get on it!

Other Ways You Can Help

Help spread the word about the project!  Blog, tweet, mention it on facebook/myspace (for those still using myspace).

The Why of Donating to Covenant House

3 01 2011

Perhaps naively, I thought that my decision to donate my $200 gift card from Oakridge Centre would’ve made a few more waves than with the feeble tiny ripple I sent out.

Facebook event page: 65 invitations sent out.

5 attending.

3 actually attended, including me (from the list of people on the event page).

Perhaps this has something to do with my unpopular theory (why do I feel like if Ryan Clayton created the same event and sent out invitations to his friends that at least a hundred people would respond?).  In any case, it turned out to be a small operation of super fantastic people who were willing to lend their hands to help out for a good cause.

Perhaps naively again, I imagined myself in front of TV cameras, explaining to reporters about how I came to the decision to donate my money to a non-profit organization than buying some new clothes at the Bay.  Since that didn’t actually happen, I’ll put up my responses here instead, to make me feel like what I imagined wasn’t a waste of time, and that what I think does in fact matter.  🙂

Though I’ve had the gift card for several months now, I didn’t know what to do with it for the longest time.  I thought of buying myself clothes or even buying a cable to connect my computer to my television at The Source and if a cable had indeed existed that could do that, I would’ve bought it.  But instead, I found myself strangely disturbed at the fact that I wanted shiny new things when other people didn’t even have the basics — food, shelter, support.  What kind of person would I be if I went out and knowing that there were less fortunate people out there, proceed to splurge it on myself?  I just couldn’t do it.

I attribute the strange feeling to English Literature class.  At the time, we had been learning about Gulliver’s Travels — not the probably lame Jack Black version, but the real, satirical one — and talking about Swift’s many jabs at humanity.  In fact, I even wrote an entire essay about how I thought humanity was not worth saving (which I got an A on).  Most if not all people during Swift’s time weren’t aware of the problems in society; homelessness, corruption in government, exploitation.  But with the publication of Gulliver’s Travels, and then later with Romantic poets like William Blake, people knew.  Only now, they still didn’t do anything.  True ignorance.

And that’s the hardest part.  Making people care.

Do I still believe humanity is beyond saving?  Proabably.

But there are the few of us who aim to prove otherwise.  I try to be one of those people.

Even if it is a mere $200 at a time.  At an overpriced shopping mall nonetheless.