Cutters launches “Project For Good”

Nonni, a resident of Opportunity Village in Oregon

Cutters Studios’ “Project For Good” is a companywide inspiration to get creative about dedicating time, talent and resources to create positive change in the world.

The first cycle of the ongoing effort is explained in a four-minute film about Bootstrap Villages, a nonprofit organization devoted to building a community of “tiny houses” for the less fortunate in Chicago.

“We’re trying to give the homeless a hand,” says Bootstrap President and Founder Adrianna McKinley, who spends her nine-to-five as a Digital Services Specialist for Cutters in Chicago. “Tiny house villages have been helping people on the west coast for a few years.”

McKinley is one of several people who speak in support of the idea championed by the video, which was entirely produced by Cutters Studios and reflects contributions from every office and facet of the company.

Others include 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, Urban Planner Andrew Heben, several people who have benefitted from tiny homes in Oregon, and a few of the many who need them in Chicago.

“It was great because … Wow,” says George, one of the residents of Opportunity Village, a thriving tiny home neighborhood in Eugene. “I got a reel roof over my head and I got space actually to sleep comfortably.”

The first tiny homes ever built resulted from collaboration between residents of an unapproved tent community and city politicians in Portland, OR, nearly twenty years ago.

A tiny home in Eugene’s Opportunity Village

Measuring no more than a few hundred square-feet at most, they proved that extremely small but entirely functional living quarters could help save people from the compounding emotional and physical harm of homelessness.

“It really ties together everything someone would need to get back on their feet,” says McKinley.

According to 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, the dwellings are a life-saving proposition for the Windy City.

“Because the inclement weather that we have here in Chicago, we have people dying on the streets,” he says. “For that reason alone, we should be focusing on the tiny house model.”

Kashmir, an unhoused Chicago citizen

Cutters’ “Project For Good” is the product of a compassionate ethos that has been growing within the company since it was founded 37 years ago.

The focus on Bootstrap Villages came from McKinley, who submitted the concept when Cutters invited more than 200 employees worldwide to pitch ideas for projects the company might produce to help make the world a better place.

It was selected by Ryan Schnizlein, Kathryn Hempel, Cindy Duffy and Craig Duncan, a committee dedicated to supporting any project that will put company talents and resources to good use.

Among the “runners-up” was a call to focus on California Water Conservation.

Other causes that have received Cutters’ support include the Unmask My City initiative from The Global Climate and Health Alliance and its partners, the #HeForShe campaign for UN Women, and the United Nations and the People+Planet Project action network.