04 Mar Bathroom of Terror

This is a scary story.

It’s about a place that is so forgotten, so dark and hopeless, it’s all but unfit for human habitation. The fact that this place also happens to be the only bathroom for a group of teenage orphan girls makes it a particularly frightening tale.

In the Big Girls’ Hostel here at the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission, there are 14 girls between the ages of 18 and 28 and they begin and end each day in the same grim space.

I’m told that in the hot summer, snakes come in the open drain. In the cold winter, there is no hot water system to warm up with. Mirrors are pitted and stained, all but unusable. Only squat toilets are currently installed. Faucets don’t work. Every pipe fixture leaks. Shower stall doors are rusting off their hinges. It truly is a Bathroom of Terror.

For years, these girls—who are for the most part quiet and shy—have lived with this chamber of horrors without much complaint. But when I actually saw the gruesome conditions they were living with (and considered how my own daughter Jackson would react to such substandard facilities), I decided to do something about it.

And so I’ve enlisted Jack and two other young women her age (Emily and Aanchal) to help me reach out to the world on behalf of these girls. We’re launching a fundraising campaign to collect the money needed to renovate the bathroom and dispel the darkness once and for all.

We’re planning a major renovation and when it’s complete, we’ll have sit down toilets, hot water, a vanity/sink area, new mirrors, new tile and lighting, new doors and plumbing. The works. All for just $5000!

Here’s a link to the campaign. It’s called Bathroom of Terror. Take a look. The two-minute campaign video is shot like a horror movie and is certainly worth your time.

TAKE ME TO THE BATHROOM OF TERROR

Enter the creepiest bathroom you’re likely to see, if you dare, and consider getting involved. Share the campaign with your friends, donate if you feel inspired. I promise you, if you knew these girls and spent a few minutes in one of their stalls, you’d sense the urgency of this small request. They really are worth it.

 

 

Photo courtesy of The Archibald Project

Photo courtesy of The Archibald Project.

As a final note, I want to acknowledge Steve Stone who did the video voice over for free. In the sea of voice over talent, Steve is a big fish. You might recognize his voice as a frequent contributor on CNN or TBS or your favorite local news or radio station. He’s everywhere! He used to be the TV voice guy for WPXT in Portland, Maine when I worked there, and when I wanted a rich, movie trailer voice for this bathroom campaign video, I reached out to him again.

Though it’s been four years since we worked together, and though I couldn’t pay him for his services, Steve jumped right on board, recording the read like the pro that he is. Thanks for being willing to help out, Steve. You really make the piece. You’re a legend.

Now go check out the campaign. Just be warned: it is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. But soon, with your help, this scary story will have a happy ending, and the Bathroom of Terror will be no more.

At least it will no longer be the kind of place a young woman will be afraid to walk into when the sun goes down.

STEP RIGHT UP! ENTER THE BATHROOM OF TERROR

 

 

3 Comments
  • Allan Goodman
    Posted at 15:29h, 04 March Reply

    Hi John,
    Well done. The video is great and I’m sure you meet the goal very quickly. The dismal conditions the ladies have to endure does not show up in the video. They are all so happy and carefree, but thats the norm at The Mission isn’t it. No matter what the circumstances they all have a vibrant positive outlook on life and live it to the max. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
    Regards
    Allan and Wendy

  • Natalie Graham
    Posted at 16:09h, 04 March Reply

    I agree with Allan and Wendy – the girls are so bright and cheerful that the impact of the video isn’t as horrifying as it truly should be. 😀

    I can’t imagine having to deal with that bathroom day in and day out! It must be awful to draw cleaning duty too. I don’t even want to imagine the boys bathroom!! EEEKS! I hope you get funding for both. I’ll be throwing in a few bucks to get the fundraiser closer to the goal.

    Kudos to Steve Stone for helping out. It sounds like he was having as much fun as the girls with this video.

    Thanks for your constant attention to improving the living and learning conditions of the kids at GSAM. You rock. 🙂

  • Natalie Graham
    Posted at 16:12h, 04 March Reply

    I agree with Allan and Wendy – the girls are so bright and cheerful that the impact of the video isn’t as horrifying as it truly should be. 😀

    I can’t imagine having to deal with that bathroom day in and day out! It must be awful to draw cleaning duty too. I don’t even want to imagine the boys bathroom!! EEEKS! I hope you get funding for both. I’ll be throwing in a few bucks to get the fundraiser closer to the goal.

    Kudos to Steve Stone for helping out. It sounds like he was having as much fun as the girls with this video.

    Thanks for your unwavering attention and problem-solving for the living and learning conditions at GSAM, John. You rock. 🙂

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