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Outside the Frame's 'Lost Boys' helped us find unexpected results

Our first nonprofit client came to us in a phone call one Friday afternoon from Nili Yosha, executive director of Outside the Frame. OTF is an organization that works with homeless youth to tell their stories through film. We had three weeks to pull together media outreach, create some social chatter, develop materials and fill the house at Revolution Hall for their gala screening of "The Lost Boys of Portlandia." Team Brigit was on it. And it all worked.

It helped that, fortunately, we had a great story to tell -- homeless youth expressing themselves through film, a creative "therapy" of sorts -- and, unfortunately, homelessness is a hot topic in Portland. Through our media outreach we earned several million impressions and filled all the seats the night of the event.

But what we really gained from this experience doesn't have a metric. We got to work alongside a group of people beyond dedicated to their mission. Who open their doors to homeless kids so they have a place the stay. Who look past what the kids are wearing, and hear what they have to say.

Many of these kids have been kicked out of their homes because of their gender identity. Others have had to leave because of extreme abuse. All have a story, and a perspective. And all were or are living on the streets because somewhere along the way society failed them. These kids are the same age as our own, and maybe that's another reason why this project was important to us.

Being involved with OTF provided us a clearer understanding of the type of support people experiencing homelessness need. Roofs and food? Yes. Jobs? Yes. Positive ways to express oneself boost your own mental health and spirit? YES!! Being heard is an important part of anyone's journey. That Friday afternoon phone call was a gift to us -- to be part of sharing their voices.

We had many of our Team Brigit supporters in attendance at the gala, and that meant a lot to us. Thank you! If you haven't already received or responded to Outside the Frame's survey, please check it out. The info will be used to help support grant proposals for OTF's future endeavors.

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