2 Kids, 12 Months, 12 Countries

DSC_6587aWhen JD Lewis’ older son Jackson, 13, said he wanted to do something to help the world, he touched on a subject sensitive to his dad. Indeed, Lewis’ play AmerWrecka—the 2005 sold-out Highways production he penned and directed—featured an assortment of characters responding to the question: “In a world gone wrong, what would you do to make a difference?”

What his family is doing is traveling to 12 countries over 12 months, volunteering in local communities to do everything from helping save elephants to distributing mosquito nets to playing music with students in Haiti. Their journey will take them to Russia, India, China, Cambodia, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Australia, South Georgia Island, Paraguay, Peru and Haiti, with each location focusing on a different global issue, such as famine, HIV/AIDS, housing, education, water rights, environmental and resource issues, or child labor.

A WLT alum and single dad who “always wanted a family,” JD adopted both his boys at birth (Buck is now eight) while still based in Santa Monica. The family has since relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, where JD has opened an east coast branch of his LA acting studio, The Actor’s Lab.

Since he’s a former actor himself, with credits ranging from Friends to LA Law, it will come as no surprise that Lewis plans to bring along a film crew to document their travels. And although fundraising efforts are still underway, support from such luminaries as Yoko Ono has fueled their intentions for a successful venture.

The entire project will also be blogged by Jackson and made available to schools across the country, and Buck will do a video blog. If all goes as planned, Twelve in Twelve will launch a whole new way for families to have an impact on the challenges we face as a race and as a planet.

As Buck says, “We can make a difference in the world.”

—Abigail Lewis

Get more info or make a donation at twelveintwelve.info.

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