As I do wherever I live, when I moved back to Orlando I was looking for local charities I can support using my photography talent and skills. There are so many organizations and charities, and I want to support them all!! However, since I am after all, human, and there is just so much time in one day, I knew from past experience I can handle supporting two.
One of the charities I support is the Community Based Care of Central Florida, who offers child protective services and adoption services. In my book the people who work there are angels on earth, and I feel fortunate to be able to do my small part through the Heart Galleries, created by the wonderful person and photographer Misty Miotto . I am part of a team of volunteer photographers who go out and photograph the children awaiting adoption, so their personality can shine through some great photos for potential parents to see. This is such a small part in the process of adoption, but so, so rewarding to know that in a small way I may have contributed to a child getting adopted.
The second organization I support goes to the other end of the human spectrum – the elderly, who, in my opinion, are just as much a neglected part of society.
The Jewish Pavilion mission’s is “To enhance the life of our elders and their families by strengthening their connection to the community”. Nancy Ludin is the sheer force behind that organization. Among other things, she makes sure that every Friday evening and every Jewish holiday, Jewish Pavilion volunteers are out bringing joy and a sense of community to Jews in long term care facilities.
When Nancy called me, asking that I come take photos of elderly and volunteers, depicting the strong relationship that is built between them, I was happy to oblige. It was a fun, challenging photo shoot, as the elderly just really don’t like to listen to anyone giving them instructions anymore (who can blame them?), and so it took a lot of work on my part to get their attention, get them to do what I need them to do – in order to get the photos that I was set to capture.
But everyone cooperated, and after 30 volunteers and elderly walked in and out of the room the portable studio was set up in to have their photo taken – I was exhausted. And happy. I knew I got the photos Nancy asked for. And I am so happy she will be able to present these, and use them to promote the Jewish Pavilion important cause.
One final thought: Photography is my profession. But is also the way I can give back. I hope this blog post inspires someone, anyone, to take their talents and use them for the good. Pay is forward!
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the photo shoot for the Jewish Pavilion: