ONE SMALL THING • Podcast
Welcome to a new podcast that takes you into a true story of forgiveness, hope and transcendence of the human spirit. Twenty years ago, a group of eighth graders from a rural, southern town set out to study the Holocaust and the dangers of prejudice.
What happened next was a miracle
help us tell this story
STORY BEHIND THE PODCAST
The students at Whitwell Middle School had never met a Jewish person in their lives. When they learned that six million Jews were killed in World War 2, the kids decided to collect 6 million paper clips in remembrance and to see how big the tragedy really was. But how could a town of 1,600 people possibly collect six million paper clips?
The kids mailed letters to presidents, celebrities, athletes, asking if each person would contribute a paper clip. At the rate they were going, it would take decades. Until help appeared out of the blue from the most unlikely people.
Paper clips began to pour in from around the world. Germans, holocaust survivors, and people who heard about the project sent paper clips, letters, photographs. People never stopped sending in paper clips, even after they reached 6 million. So the kids vowed to keep the project running.
It’s been going for 20 years.
An intersectional story
The paper clips project has become more than just a story about Holocaust remembrance. It’s grown into a story of intersectional compassion and a monument that has created bridges with people across race, religion, nationality, ability, and sexual orientation.
With the over 30 million paper clips that have been donated, the Whitwell children and community commemorated the estimated 11 million lives murdered in a permanent memorial. This staggering number includes 6 million Jews and an additional 5 million non-Jews who were also killed, including LGBT citizens, physically and mentally disabled, Catholics, Protestants, social activists and Nazi resisters, and Germans of mixed or African and Asian ancestry.
Each paper clip resides in a permanent holocaust memorial in Whitwell, Tennessee. In a German box car that once transported Jews to the camps–drawing visitors from around the world.
CAPTURING A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME MOMENT
In November, Whitwell will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the project. For the first time, everyone connected to the project will gather to share stories and experiences of how this project changed their lives forever.
Help us raise $5,000
We need to raise $5,000 before November 10 to travel to Whitwell to cover the event and share the experience with you in a special podcast episode. We’ll raise additional funds after the anniversary and produce a 10-part podcast series covering the impact this project continues to spark change and tolerance around the world.
For a gift of any size, we will personally place one paper clip in the memorial in your honor. For gifts of $100 or more, you may include personal message or dedication in memory of someone to your paper clip.
With full support, the One Small Thing podcast will premiere in Spring 2019.
If you want to see this podcast happen, please give a tax-deductible gift today.
Please contact Stephanie or email Producer email@example.com with questions.