Children in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods have higher rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than American combat troops.
Off The Street Club is a refuge for inner-city children in Chicago’s war zones. To raise enough money to keep the club open, we needed people to realize that the tragedy extends beyond those who die. So, we turned to a group of survivors.
Writing about traumatic experiences and sharing them with a group is therapeutic for veterans. On October 8th, as part of their therapy, we asked veterans to read trauma statements written by another group. Then we revealed they were written by children.
On Veteran’s Day, we released this experiment - The Toughest Letter, and raise more money than the club had ever raised in its 117-year history. (BTW, I was the film director of this real experiment)