We all evacuated. We all have a story. The 88,000 Project is asking you for your stories.
Ashley Tobin, creator of The 88,000 Project, explains: “ The 88,000 Project is a compilation of our stories - stories of evacuation, re-entry, and everything in between. I came up with this project as a solution to my own anxiety about the re-entry process. A good friend encouraged me to write my feelings down anytime I felt overwhelmed. Whenever I felt that I couldn’t breathe, I wrote down how I was feeling. I transferred my thoughts from my mind to a piece of paper. It worked!”
Tobin hopes to inspire other residents to share their stories. “By writing down their stories, residents can have an opportunity to be heard and to put their feelings onto paper, which will hopefully help them in their own journey of recovery. I also find that reading about other peoples’ experiences helps me to put my own experience into perspective.”
A few stories have already come in, and Tobin hopes to get 400 entries by October 31. “The goal is to have the book published by Christmas,” says Tobin. “As the months march on, it’s important that the community has an opportunity like this – to express themselves honestly and to learn of their neighbours’ stories.” If you’re stuck for something to write about, there’s a list of potential topics at www.the88000project.com.
A portion of the proceeds from The 88,000 Project will be directed to the United Way of Fort McMurray.
The submission guidelines are simple: write out (or draw!) your story on one side of an 8.5 in x 11 in paper. Your submission can be a single sentence or it could take up the entire page. Stories may be submitted in any language. Submissions are open to all ages and must be anonymous.
Check out the www.the88000project.com for submission drop-off locations, deadline, and other details.