The charity of the future
by Lydia Buchanan, ’13
At age 16, Kris Asleson, ’10, began to feel burdened by the inequalities between the United States and impoverished countries and even more so by the lack of exciting and relevant ways to engage the problem. Out of this need, Kris, along with two of his childhood best friends, formed Truth x Vision.
Founded in 2008, Truth x Vision, “the Charity of the Future,” began its mission to help some of the poorest people in the world. Truth x Vision uses pop culture to reach out to the youth of areas such as Ghana and Sierra Leone and then works to set up agricultural development projects to support the communities. Kris believes the pop culture aspect is vastly important to the relevancy of the charity.
“Everyone has a small section of their brain dedicated to charity, but a much larger space devoted to their lifestyle. If we could build our brand in a way that appealed to both areas, we believe we’d have access to a largely untapped and very thirsty spiritual market share.”
Kris and his team have worked though challenges to get Truth x Vision to the point it is today, but with faith and hard work, the organization is moving forward. Kris says, “We have had to consistently work at effectively sharing our story, but we are definitely gaining momentum. We aren’t there yet, but God has continued to affirm and reward our hard work, and it is very humbling.”
Whitworth was formative in Kris’ growth as a leader and in Truth x Vision’s beginning. He says, “Truth x Vision is a big idea and in college I didn’t really quite know how to handle it. I had a lot of growing up to do, and the culture of Whitworth really helped me stay focused through it all.” He names John Hengesh, Bill Robinson, and Jack Burns as mentors who have supported Truth x Vision as it has grown.
Truth x Vision’s most recent project is called the Ghana Development Initiative, which is targeting youth unemployment and the possibility for agricultural growth. Truth x Vision is using pop culture to reach the youth sector and to offer them economically sound ways to create a supplementary income as well as to nourish themselves by means of projects such as “Farm-in-a-Barrel,” which gives them miniature poultry farms to manage.
Kris and Benjamen Okyere, the Development Director from Ghana will soon be visiting Spokane to meet faculty and friends at Whitworth as well as to interview candidates for a Banquet Coordinator internship that Truth x Vision will be offering to Whitworth students.
When asked about the future of Truth x Vision, Kris is very hopeful and excited, “There are plenty of youth looking for positive, creative outlets, and Africa is a pretty big place, so we are hoping the party really starts to get loud over the next few years, and after that—who knows!”