My blog post today is going to be a little different than usual. Did you know that I donate at least 20% of all session costs and print orders to Compassion International? Well, I wanted to give you a little inside look at what you are helping to support when you book a session with me.
This is Margaret. She is twelve years old, a hard worker in everything she does with big dreams for her future. She is my Compassion sponsored child and has been in the Compassion program since it began in her community when she was eight and a half years old
A couple months ago, I wrote her a letter asking:
“If someone who didn’t know much about Compassion were to ask you what Compassion has done in your life, how would you answer them? How have the program and the workers helped you and what have they taught you?”
I just received her reply, which she gave me permission to share, and this is what she had to say about the Compassion program.
“The Compassion program has helped me a lot.”
“The program has taught me how to set goals and plan for my future. – Compassion sits down with each child at around age twelve and helps them set goals for their future and put in place a plan of action to reach those goals.
“My physical health has improved. My health bills and school fees are being borne by the project.” – Compassion makes sure each child in the program is able to go to school by assisting with or providing tuition, uniforms, school supplies, etc . . . They also provide regular physical checkups for the children and assist with health care costs as needed.
“I can now play the keyboard, do some graphic design work and write you a letter.” – Compassion provides lessons, activities and vocational training that the children would not otherwise be able to receive. And those letters she writes me? They are written in excellent English, her second language!
“My appearance to church and other social gatherings have also improved due to gifts and other support I received from you and the project. Now I go to church because I have a lot of dresses which was not so formerly.” – In her culture, it is very important to dress appropriately for the occasion. It makes me so happy that she can attend church and other events and feel proud of her appearance.
“My mother is also in a business with the gift you sent her.” – I sent a $75 financial gift to the family two years ago and it was spent on inventory for her mother to start a small market business, one which is continuing to grow and helps to provide for some of the family’s needs.
“Compassion has made me to know places like Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, Kokum National Park and International Stingless Bees Centre.” – Compassion often takes the children on field trips to expand their horizons and teach them more about their own country.
“Compassion curriculum has also taught me a lot about how to socialize, live a healthy life and show courteousness to everyone.” – Compassion has culturally appropriate curriculum to teach the children about hygiene, simple ways to stay healthy (teeth brushing and hand washing after using the toilet as a couple examples), appropriate social behavior, etc . . . lessons they may not be receiving at home due to the family’s lack of education or difficult and often desperate situations. Compassion also often tutors the children in their school work.
“Today, Compassion is a household name in my community and it’s environs.” – Because of the help and hand’s up that Compassion gives to the children and their families, Compassion is respected by the communities and sometimes even protected in dangerous areas. In San Pedro Sula, perhaps the most dangerous city in the world, I have been told that the gangs there will not touch Compassion because they see the good they are doing with the children.
“My teachers and workers are lovely people to live with and learn. They visit us both at home and school.” – Compassion workers visit the children’s homes to check on the family situation, see how the family is doing and how Compassion can pray for and better assist each individual child and family.
“I can now lead devotion, preach, praises and worship and share the word of God with others.” – The Compassion program is always run through the local church, by local people. Children of all faiths or no faith at all are accepted into the program and while they are taught Biblical values and beliefs, they are not forced or pressured to convert.
“I want to thank you Naomi and all sponsors and donors who have brought great joy and hope to the needy children/orphans in my country. There are few project children who have not been sponsored and we are praying for them also to have sponsors.” - Nine year old Enoch is one such child at Margaret’s project who is currently waiting for a sponsor: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/child-video-biography.htm?needKey=GH2320044
This is a video that was filmed by Compassion at Margaret’s project about two years ago (in fact you can see Margaret laughing and sticking her tongue out for the camera at 1:23, she’s in the green patterned dress).
If you would like to hear more about Compassion, you can learn about their sponsorship program here, or if you would like to help Compassion while receiving beautiful portraits, you can contact me here.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I will be holding my 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Mini Sessions in benefit of Compassion International. This is an organization that is very dear to me, an organization that I have been on the field with and seen inside and out. I have been involved with Compassion for many years (most of my life, in fact) and can tell you many wonderful stories about the work they do.
The minis will be held on the following dates in Sacramento and the Bay Area.
Sunday, May 18th
Saturday, May 24th
Saturday, May 17th
Sunday, May 25th
The cost is $50 and includes a 20 minute portrait session and a mounted 5×7 keepsake print. All proceeds will be donated to Compassion International. In addition, you can choose to purchase the digital images from your session for $250, the proceeds of which will also be donated to Compassion International.
You can reserve your spot here and if you have any questions please e-mail me at email@example.com
Please note, in addition to raising funds for Compassion International, the purpose of these sessions is to capture the bond between a mother and her children. Family photos, sibling photos and individual photos will not be taken.
What is it?
The Haiti Portrait Event is a day of mini sessions to benefit the people of Haiti.
How do I help?
Make a minimum donation of $50 to either Compassion.com or SamaritansPurse.org, forward the receipt to me (this will be deleted after I have confirmed that the donation was made) and I will give you a mini portrait session for your kiddos on March 27th.
What is a mini portrait session?
A mini portrait session is just the littler version of my regular portrait session. It lasts approximately 10-20 minutes and yields 5-10 proofs to choose from.
Mini sessions are designed for 1-2 children only. If there are 3+ siblings to be included in the portrait session, please book two spots (minimum $100 donation to one of the above charities.)
The mini sessions will be held in Sacramento, CA at William Land Park
March 27, 2010
As a thank you for helping the people of Haiti, I will take 20% off any print orders AND half the proceeds of your order will be donated to Compassion.com.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org