I am grateful. At first I didn't think anyone was going to donate and enter. Then for a few days I only had one entry (thank you Dawn for being the first to enter and being my second biggest supporter in this effort. I'll have to give Bret credit for being the biggest). Then the entries started coming in. Poor Bret. Every time I received a receipt I would squeel and tell him all about it. Thank you to each and every person who opened up their hearts and their wallets to donate and help the people of Haiti. I continue to read blog entries from the brave people on the ground trying to help and I am simply overwhelmed with...I don't know...emotion. The fear, the sorrow, the hope, the desperation, the down right pain...it is heart breaking from here...I can't imagine how it is from there. So if anyone who is there helping at this time ever reads this blog entry from little ol' me....thank you for all you have done.
I went old school with the drawing. I just folded up each entry and had Bret pick with his eyes closed. So, without further ado....the winner is....Brinkley Oliver!!!! Brinkly...I will be emailing you shortly!
Again...thank you to everyone! You are all winners in my heart because you helped someone in need! Thank you!
When something so devastating happens in our world, we all watch the news in shock at the terrible images flashing before our eyes. I haven't been able to wrap my mind around everything that has happened. The images. The stories. I know so many of us are moved to tears every time we turn on the news. The thing that amazes me are the stories of faith, of joy, of appreciation. The woman who was rescued from beneath the rubble, after days in darkness, and began singing as soon as she was out and saw her husband with new eyes. Eyes of survival. Of strength. Of determination. The stories of everyday families being reunited. The stories of the volunteers working so hard for strangers, just as they would for dear loved ones. Of course, for every story of hope, there are many more of devastation. With the place I am in my life right now, the stories that have struck my heart the most are of all the orphaned children. Thank God for organizations like God's Littlest Angels that are working hard every day to take care of these little ones and fighting to get those who were in the adoption process united with their families. I know so many of you feel the way I do. You want to open your home to these children and protect them from everything that's going on. As somone from the organization wrote me, the reality is that new adoptions in Haiti are on hold right now. The children have to be declared orphans by Haiti before they can be taken from the country. There are so many families that have been seperated and are still searching for loved ones...for their children...for their parents. It would be terrible if a child was taken from the country while their parents were still searching for them. With that said, the best thing us everyday Americans can do for these children is give. Give what you can. They need supplies on the ground and money to do that. I know most of us, including me, are not in positions where we can give hundreds of dollars, but together we can all make a difference.
I am so excited to be offering a new feature on my blog. Okay, here's the deal, each month I will do a "spotlight" on a particular non-profit organization or program focused on helping others. I will donate $x (amount depending on number of comments and our financial standing) for every comment made on that particular blog entry (comments must be made on actual blog site and not through email). Also, anyone who makes a donation to that organization will receive $15 in print credit with Priscilla Baierlein Photography for every $25 they donate.
I ran across this first spotlight organization today (it's really what got me thinking about ways I could help out). Reading the stories and seeing the pictures touched my heart. This was only amplified when I read about the founder. At only 17, Felicia Reinhard , has had a very difficult life herself. Now, she is giving back and helping others! You can read more about Felicia here. She's truly amazing.
"Our mission at The Littlest Heroes Projectis to help provide and capture memories for families who are dealing with hectic schedules due to having a child who is suffering from a serious illness or life altering disability. We understand that in the midst of being thrown a diagnosis and having to switch from a “normal” life to a life that is totally different, and often scary, things like getting photos taken is sometimes a huge challenge and is one of the last things families are thinking about. But when everything is done, and either the child has reached the end of their battle, or has proven the odds against it many wish they had more time to stop, and capture the journey that they lived through for so long. Through Littlest Heroesour photographers understand each and every case, and cater it to fit and honor each child and family. Our photographers are on hand to travel to homes, hospitals, clinics, fundraisers, and benefits to help capture your child’s journey in a “Day in the life” sort of style and work personally one on one with your child and entire family to get those special family photos and moments that you can cherish for years to come."
Photo sessions for children infant-21 who are dealing or have delt with any type of serious illness, children who have been a part of any type of serious illness resulting in illness or disability.
Photo sessions for families who have lost children within the last 3 years due to a serious accident or illness.
Organizations or foundations holding events/fundraisers for a child or for children suffering with serious illnesses.
All services are free as a way to give back to the smallest of hereos.
I Believe Team- "Just like we match photographers we will match a little hero from our project with young people from the I Believe Team who would like to collect donations or hold a toy drive at their school, church, with friends, or wherever they can find donations. All collected items are then sent back to us where we are able to then make special care packages for the children to get when we go for their photo shoots, visit them in hospitals, or are needing an extra smile because of surgery etc. This is our hands on way for children, young people, and adults alike to learn what what giving back really means. The goal behind the I Believe Team is to make children and young people more aware of these kids just like them who are fighting against some pretty big odds. We are teaching how to give back in a fun and interactive way. By being matched with a little hero the kids get a real look into the life of one of these amazing children and get the chance to make some new and very special friends. Together we can change the world and support these little heroes!"
Families are welcome to sponsor a child
Donate items such as: Photo props and costumes for the children (skirts, hats, boas,headbands, etc.); Boxes for sending packages; US postage Stamps; Gift bags; Photography materials of any kind (backdrops, lights,). "Most all of the donated items go right to the children from The Littlest Heroes that are already part of our team. But we also send donations to other places as well. When we hear of hospitals doing special donation events we also send donated items to them as well. In 2007 we sent over 1,000 hats to Children’s Memorial for their hat drive. Most of the hats came from a team who donated and collected them in memory of one of our fallen heroes who passed away from her cancer a few years ago. If we would like you to donate to a specifit hospital in honor of one of the children please let us know before you start your drive so we can figure out all of the details ahead of time!"
How can I become a part of this project?
*Applications for Littlest Heroes Team Photographers must be in by January 30th to be on the team roster for 2009.*
If you are a photographer who is willing to donate your time and talent to bring smiles to these deserving families by being a part of this project ... Please take time and read the information HERE and then submit the information at the bottom to apply to be a photographer for LHP!