The Fundred Dollar Bill is a hundred dollar bill of the artist’s own design in any media. These unique bills are to be collected and presented to the United States Congress with a request for an even exchange for real funding.
This innovative way of fundraising was introduced by artist Mel Chin as part his project Operation Pay Dirt. Chin is an environmental artist who works with scientists in an effort to use art and science to create and implement projects that will make the Earth a better and safer place to live.
After Hurricane Katrina, Chin discovered the soil in New Orleans, La., was heavily contaminated with lead, leading to an unbelievable number, some 30 percent, of poor children in the inner city of New Orleans to be affected by lead poisoning. Gathering a team of scientists, architects, community groups and city officials, Chin set about finding a strategy to solve this problem, and the project became known as Operation Pay Dirt.
Operation Pay Dirt offers a scientifically proven method to neutralize the amount of lead in dirt; the treatment is costly, and it is anticipated the treatment of the soil in New Orleans will cost some three million dollars.
To celebrate Earth Day, and considering the increasing rate of destruction of the Earth, this fundraiser provides a great way to get involved in saving the Earth and in helping others.
“I feel like I’m really donating a hundred dollar bill to saving Earth. This is really fun, except I don’t know if the government will be willing to exchange these for a real three million dollars,” said Stephanie Barnes, a student in Peggy Huber’s Ceramics I class.
Whether the money would actually be given by the government is a debatable issue, contrary to the good causes and intentions. Yet further research indicates this project has grown strong with tremendous support from all across the United States.
These innovative Fundred Dollar bills will be collected from all the RHS art and science students who participated in this project recently during the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
The Fundreds will be counted into stacks of 100 and shipped to the collection center in Atlanta.
“The goal for RHS’s participation is 500 Fundreds, equal to $50,000. If the exchange goes as planned, students from RHS participating in this project can be proud of the significant contribution they have made to Operation Pay Dirt,” said Huber.
She said anyone with questions or who wants to participate on their own, can find more information online at the Fundred website at www.fundred.org.