James Bonds III entered the Big Give Contest to fund his Neighborhood Camera & Graphic Arts Club, which he founded as a creative safe haven for at-risk Memphis teens to learn photography. Filmmaker Zana Briski, founder of Kids with Cameras (a nonprofit that uses photography to build self-esteem in underprivileged children), posted Bonds's wish list on Kids-With-Cameras.org
; the resulting donations of gently used equipment helped Bonds's grant money go further. In July the camera club held its first-ever gallery exhibition. "The kids were so happy," Bonds says. Though the decorated Vietnam War veteran has recently undergone treatments for prostate cancer and other ailments, he continues to run the club. "I just want to keep the kids out of jail and the cemetery, and help them make something of themselves," he says. "I'm not giving up." ( Camera club donations can be sent to James Bonds III c/o Onie Johns, Caritas Village Community Center, 2509 Harvard Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112-2714. Checks can be made out to Caritas Village.
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