Why does Shine’s work matter to you: Gila Wdowinski

Why does Shine’s work matter to you: Gila Wdowinski


Why does Shine’s work matter to you: Gila Wdowinski

As a member of our Shine Family, we want to hear from you! Why does Shine’s work matter to you? Do you relate on a personal level to the stories Shine tells? Is there a film you were deeply affected by? Have any Shine films inspired you to take action in your own life or community? Share your story with us by emailing info@shineglobal.org. We may even share your story with our Shine Family in our next newsletter (with your permission, of course!).

To kick it off, Susan recently spoke with a long-time Shine supporter, Gila Wdowinski, who has been donating to Shine since 2009. Gila shared with Susan why Shine matters to her.

Gila is a computer software engineer who came to the US in 1982 after her company was bought by a larger American one. She came for 6 months – a long six months as she points out. She says she stayed because of America’s generosity and the niceness of its people.

She’s a film buff who goes to the movies several times this week. She watches documentaries to learn about he world we live in. Just last week she saw the documentary, The Waldheim Waltz. As a child of Holocaust survivors who grew up in Israel, she wanted to better understand how a former Nazi became both a Secretary General of the UN and President of Austria.

She recalled seeing War Dance and Shine’s website address at the end of the film, which is how she first found out about Shine. “I was very touched by the movie – very moved by the plight of child soldiers,” she said, adding “Shine is doing something remarkable in pointing out these stories and not passing over them.” Similarly, she also saw The Wrong Light on a flight recently, and was deeply disturbed by the abuses by a non-profit dedicated to children that it revealed.

Gila is interested in the promotion of human rights generally and also supports organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, but she reserves her greatest concern for children, who she recognizes as being “more vulnerable and deserving of compassion.” In her spare time, Gila volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club near her home in Laguna Beach. Since she feels that films are especially helpful to teens in helping them to expand their world view, she’d like to talk to them about hosting a screening of one of Shine’s films.

We’re honored to have Gila’s support.