Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | StoryCorps: The Saint of Dry Creek

March 14, 2016


StoryCorps is an amazing nonprofit organization, and they cater to a basic, instinctive human need — the need for storytelling. Here’s how they describe the work that they do…

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.

After a friend introduced me to StoryCorps, a comparison immediately sprung to mind: they so much remind me of Humans of New York! HONY’s founder, Brandon Stanton, is its chief story curator. He’s forever on the move as he navigates the country’s most bustling city in search of remarkable people who have their own stories to share with the world. Tales of redemption, loss, coming-of-age, poverty, triumph are just a few of the of narratives included. They are as diverse and endless as New York’s people.

Like HONY, StoryCorps’ goals are tied more to the curation aspect of stories rather than the actual telling of them. StoryCorps are gatherers, and their function is both basic and necessary. In a world that’s always in motion, we need a space that serves as vehicle for people who want to tell their personal narratives, offering people the chance to speak and be heard. We need to be storytellers, especially when the stories belong to us.

In a time of distractions, information overload, and disconnect between each other, we need organizations like HONY and StoryCorps. We’ll always need them. Their installments regularly remind us how to be compassionate, sympathetic, empathetic people, as well as the importance of being connected to each other not by technology, but through our humanity.

I really enjoyed the story below, The Saint of Dry Creek, so much so that I wanted to share it. This little narrative involving a father-son relationship is different from most that I’ve heard, or read, and the touching story is brought to life through cartoon animation and the voice of the storyteller. It resonated with me, and I think it’ll resonate with you, too.

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