When dreaming of having a studio I told myself if I was ever blessed enough to have a studio I would give back yearly to the community, not just through my business but by hosting sessions where my clients could give back too. I’d pick an organization that meant something to me and I’d work hard to be able to give back. I have not built this small business alone, yes, I’ve worked hard and prayed hard but at the end of the day nothing would be possible without my clients, without followers, without referrals, without bookings, without the community I so love and an amazing God that keeps giving me strength to get through on the hard days of running a business.
We looked at many organizations to give back too, but kept coming back to Foster Village Waco. Did you know there are over 5,000 kids in foster homes in central Texas? The need is there to help.
One of the reasons Foster Village Waco touched my heart was from my own personal childhood.
When I was 4 my mom disappeared/was abducted, my dad felt he couldn’t care for me full time. I was literally raised by a “village” of people. Some leaving an impact more than others. I learned a lot and I craved to have normalcy. I’ll never forget the village that raised me, the people who overlooked my flaws, the kids at school who were nice even though I wasn’t like them. (Ironically I now capture some of their families). I’m sharing this not for sympathy but to help YOU understand how important the “village” is to kids that don’t have their family, how important it is to be normal and let’s face it as a school aged/tween/teenager being normal normally comes in the way of brand name clothes, new jeans and new tennis shoes..things that help them blend in when they don’t feel like they fit in.
I spoke to the director of Foster Village Waco to find the most needed items for the foster kids and learned that often times the older kids are overlooked, it’s so much easier to donate diapers, toys or baby clothes, right? But the need that touched me MOST was for the older kids 4th grade and up.
Knowing this I posted in our private Facebook group the Twenty Toes Photography VIP Lounge the idea of giving back to the community, through doing photography sessions and asking each client who booked to bring a donation of the items listed, for Foster Village Waco. I charged a small session fee to book, only to cover my cost and give assurance that we wouldn’t have no shows.
Items we requested,
Jeans (boys and girls) age 8 and up
Tennis shoes (Name brand ones, didn’t you want brand name as a kid?)
Gift cards to clothing stores and restaurants. They are added to the welcome packets when the child is placed in a new home.
Minimum value of $50
My thought was If I offered 20 slots for sessions and each family brought at least one of those items..think of the kids we would touch!
Being that I hadn’t done this type of thing I wasn’t sure we would even book all the slots..The slots booked in less than 5 minutes!! It was crazy!
The truth is when you give to children, wether in foster care, a troubled home, orphans or less fortunate..You could possibly be giving a pair of shoes/clothing to a future president, a business owner, a pro football player, a Doctor, the list goes on..it just may be YOUR gift that pushes them to fight for a better life even more.
It was one lady in my life that bought me frilly socks as younger girl and matching shoes..that took me shopping as a tween at a store that was called Weiners and bought me cool clothes. That impacted me the most..that made me think one day I’m going to make an impact.
It takes ONE person to start a change..<3
I want to thank each of my clients for booking these sessions, for going over and beyond on the donations to Foster Village Waco, to my team for helping pull it all together, to News 25 for coming out, (we weren’t expecting that)! And of course to the amazing foster families for opening your homes and hearts to children. It all turned out wonderful and we can’t wait to pick another organization to give back to this year!!
If you are interested in our annual give back to the community sessions be sure to sign up for our newsletter and click on VIP on the top right of this page to join our Facebook group The Twenty Toes Photography VIP lounge!
Thank you Foster Village Waco for making an impact in the community! To learn more about Foster Village Waco be sure to visit. https://www.fostervillagewaco.org
The link to the news clip https://www.kxxv.com/hometown/mclennan-county/photographer-uses-gift-to-raise-money-supplies-for-foster-charity?fbclid=IwAR0khe4E4FkTSLSMpKC6VSUkt6RAGU-pWxGZPgerHLBLs_sI2ooYvANY0-0
I would love to hear how Fostering changed your life, either by being in foster care or opening your heart to it!
Also suggestions are always open for who we should pick for this year to give back too!