THE WHITE SHADOW FOUNDATION STORY
WHITE SHADOW FOUNDATION was simply born out of a broken heart for the lost and destitute. Its founder and CEO Andrew Douglas, a quiet and humble man, bore witness to these people when he started to travel around Australia in his teenage years, and eventually the world, at the beginning of his young adult life. Born on the south side of Brisbane, by the time he started primary school, his father had immersed him in surfing culture. This included numerous trips up and down the east coast of Queensland searching for the ever elusive ‘perfect wave’. Early childhood memories were filled with times spent at the beach, hundreds of hours in the car sharing conversations, and driving through small coastal towns. From an early age, Andrew started to notice all types of people that seemed to inhabit these far flung places. He was intrigued.
BORN OUT OF A BROKEN HEART
FOR THE LOST AND DESTITUTE
Upon entering high school, and gaining his car license soon after, his thirst for travel expanded. This new found freedom naturally progressed into longer solo road trips, exploring several states around Australia. One day he decided to pickup a cheap camera to start documenting his travels, as he found himself revisiting the same places year after year. Still photography quickly evolved into videography when he poured his limited life-savings into the best camera he could afford. From the urban concrete jungles of Brisbane City, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, to the vast open landscapes of the Nullarbor Plain, leading him eventually through Esperance, Margaret River and onto Perth and beyond. Unbeknown to Andrew, this time of constant exploration for waves and adventure was gradually shaping his outlook on life, as he spent more time away from home. As his horizons expanded, the days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Eventually, these combined experiences opened his eyes and heart to the more pressing issues in society. He was forced to confront things head-on.
DAYS TURNED INTO WEEKS AND WEEKS TURNED INTO MONTHS
Andrew spent significant time on the road travelling around Australia, living in his van, and stretching his funds as far as possible. During these years, he witnessed cultures and lifestyles being lived by people that were vastly different to his upbringing as a child. Some of these people chose this way of living - others had it forced upon them. Often times he found himself talking with much older people in remote towns throughout Australia - people who confided in him and shared their personal struggles with their ability, and often times inability, to function properly in society. To get to these near-uninhabited locations, which were sprinkled with people that gave him an impression of bleak emptiness, Andrew travelled through affluent suburbs. Something about the big homes, and fancy cars parked out front, gave him an acute awareness of the widening gap between rich and poor. This was made evident even more so when he began travelling overseas for several months at a time, as he began to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. As a young adult, he distinctly remembers driving through Las Vegas. As multi-billion dollar casinos whizzed past, around the next corner he was forced to stop dead in his tracks as he witnessed homeless people with nothing but a ripped tarp to sleep on, to help protect them from the elements.
CONVERSATIONS WITH WAR VETERANS
Back in Los Angeles, more specifically Hollywood, with its sprawling million-dollar mansions, he was exposed to extreme wealth and prosperity through his associates in the film industry. However, just a few miles from Beverly Hills, again he encountered ‘tent cities’, where people had no access to clean running water, electricity, health care, clean clothes, and a roof over their head. Since 2001 Andrew has travelled back and forth to America, working on various film projects -- writing, directing and producing -- and in 2012, he founded his own production company. Collectively, he wants his films to tell purposeful stories and to showcase what he has witnessed on a near-daily basis. Fast forward several years, and the WHITE SHADOW FOUNDATION was born. As the world seemingly gets smaller and more connected at the same time, Andrew's vast experiences spending pro-longed time with people who are less fortunate, has become more and more crucial. This simple act, with all its unseen complexities, has helped the philanthropic foundation define its yearly goals and endeavours moving forward, providing benevolent relief to individuals in need.
CHAMPIONING DIGNITY AND THE VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE
Photos: Director Andrew Douglas on set in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, AZ.
To this day, Andrew is not sure whether it is his strong Australian accent, or if he’s just totally unassuming and a magnet for people to open up to. Throughout dozens of U.S. states and all throughout Australia, with a keen listening ear he has held conversations with war veterans, ex-cons out on parole, homeless people begging for their next meal, fathers fighting for joint custody to remain in their children’s lives, women who have aborted their pregnancies, hundreds of people experiencing the prevalent issue of mental health disorders, and sex trafficking survivors. Andrew firmly believes that life isn’t about what someone can accumulate from a material perspective, but rather what they can do to ‘give back’, helping their fellow man live the most fruitful and productive lives they possibly can. Through various life experiences, Andrew learnt that life is short - in fact, very short. It is therefore his hope and dream that people who have been blessed in life, above and beyond the day to day necessities, also develop an ‘out of the box’ way of thinking, and consider partnering with the WHITE SHADOW FOUNDATION as it seeks to enhance human dignity for every man, woman, and child in Australia.
HELPING PEOPLE LIVE THE MOST FRUITFUL AND PRODUCTIVE LIVES POSSIBLE