31 October 2011

Forgotten Heroes, Abandoned Children, Devalued Seniors

1 of 5 prototypes for Stony Mountain Ranch logo & bizcards.
See them all at http://tiny.cc/STONY

The Challenge

What do the following people have in common?
  • Aged-out foster children
  • Military veterans returning to civilian life
  • Devalued seniors
If you guessed "financial challenges", you're half right.  If you guessed "entering a strange and ominous life passage", that's not far off.  Another common denominator:  profound loneliness born from the loss of familiar structure.

Overnight, from the rawest recruits newly inducted into adulthood to the gifted-but-taken-for-granted seniors, these men and women are expected to smoothly and flawlessly establish lives of purpose, contribution, and meaning.  But, this isn't the life they knew before, this is a new and alien battleground.

Aged-out foster kids lose what paltry financial benefits they were receiving, generally around age 18.  Already unmoored and without a reliable, trustworthy family to turn to for guidance and advice, their dilemma is compounded by the loss of a familiar, if threadbare, patchwork quilt of "...programs, case workers, and foster homes that were tasked with providing for their basic needs".  They have no savings, financial literacy, or work experience.

Grateful as they are to have survived constant danger and uncertainty in hostile, life-threatening war zones, returning military vets are abruptly bereft of their community of fellowship, a predictable structure, and clear-cut goals.  Remove the uniform and it's all gone -- the comforting camaraderie, loyalty, and teamwork among a unit who shared a common purpose, all existing within a discipline which orders every detail of life, when to wake, when to eat, your role, your job -- "a rack and three squares".

Senior citizens are catching flak from every direction, too.  They are financially and socially devalued:  most cautiously exist on fixed incomes, with their best income-generating years behind and beyond them; with retirement, their skills, wisdom, and experience are assumed obsolete and to be inflexible to growth; they struggle to find a new definition of self that fits them well.  At a stage in life when they ought to be able to explore life, relax, and benefit from their decades of labour and contribution to family, community, and society, a rapidly increasing number of able-bodied, healthy seniors find the enjoyment of their homes and lives threatened by the basics of day-to-day survival.  The average senior can expect to spend 20% or more of a shrinking income just on fuel/energy to heat, cool, cook, &/or travel. 

These forgotten heroes, abandoned children, and devalued seniors need to rediscover "What is my value?  What am I good for?  Who needs me?  How will I survive?"  They need to know, "What happened to the American Dream?"

Stony Mountain Ranch:  Helping You Build Yourself a Greener Future

The text in today's blog post above is excepted from the business summary for Stony Mountain Ranch, a nonprofit organisation currently in development with our newest client.  We're not at liberty yet to divulge the details of their plans for meeting the challenges described above, but we can tell you this:  it is an integrated, organic, and healthy solution, well-researched, much needed by its target audiences.

Disclaimer:  Yeah, we're helping with the early-days phases, contributing the business plan, the research, and the creative counsel and advice.  But, if you know our work here at Gitanajava Productions' think tank, you know we only take on clients and projects with which we share a strong intellectual and ideological affinity.  No matter how much we may like you personally, if your ideas suck and you're wedded until death to them, you'll have to do without our services.

That said, when we were first approached by the founder of Stony Mountain Ranch, we spent considerable time dissecting his concept, his approach to it, his timing, competition, competency, etc., etc., ad nauseum.  Then we helped reassemble the best parts and it's still a good idea.  Stay tuned, amigos y amigas, we'll keep you posted on new episodes.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....
See you on the patio!

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