Monday, January 2, 2012

Giving Is Awesome Recipients

 I received so many wonderful noinations for my Giving is Awesome campaign this holiday season that I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at the emails that poured in. Just like last June, I couldn't stick to my guns and just pick two recipients, so instead there are 5 (again!). I really wish I could afford to donate to all 43 nominated inidviduals and families. Thank you to everyone who sent in nominations.

 First I'll start with the nomination received from Emily. Emily nominated her friend Jeanette. Jeanette, who I've briefly met, is a mother of a 2 yr. old. She has endless love and compassion from others, often leaving little consideration for herself. She has been dreaming of having portraits of Eason done for 3 yrs. but hasn't been able to. I know she just recently became a home owner so I will be thrilled to help her decorate it by gifting her a mini session of Eason with his loving parents and a $200 print credit.

 Also, Emily (the Magnificent) wishes to donate her thank you session to another deserving family or individual of my choosing. Emily, thanks for being so Awesome!

 Next, I received an email from Kristen about a tireless mom who has adopted five children over the last 7 years. Not only has Brenda and her family adopted the 5 blessed children, but they have also been blessed with two biological children! Kristen shares that Brenda never complains or asks for anything and that her open heart and giving nature makes her the perfect candidate for family portraits. I completely agree! Brenda will be gifted a 2 hour session and $200 print credit.

 Kristen, thanks to your Awesome nomination, and Emily's donation of her's, you'll be receiving a mini session to be used for you and your husband and a $50 print credit!

 The last entry in missed the deadline by a couple of days, but was a very touching nomination from a daughter to her mother. Kimberly wanted to illustrate to me the ways her mother, Carol, perseveres, cares for others and remains strong when faced with personal hardships and loss. I cried as I read her nomination (as I often do) and was all too happy to print out a gift certificate for Carol to open on Christmas morning for the gift of a family session.

 Thank you for the Awesome email Kim, I can understand why you and your friends speak so wonderfully of Carol!

  The fourth recipient of Giving Is Awesome is Myndi. I see Myndi pretty regularly, both as a client and (I'm lucky enough to say) as a friend. She's recently been faced with tough times and  Myndi handles them with grace and dignity. She doesn't ask for anything or feel entitled to anything but what she's earned. As her partner, Will, put it "she's keeping her beliefs and keeps fighting for what she believes in" and "she's always worries about others before herself." I'm all too happy to gift Myndi with a session for family, self and her son Riley.

 Will, thank you for the nomination and for being such an Awesome rock for Myndi.

 My final recipient, and this is the big one, knocked me for a loop. This nomination made me want to stop entrants and just announce a winner. It has been very tough sitting on this nominating individual for a month and not call, email or send them smoke signals to thank them for being Awesome, selfless and compassionate. Read on.

"Hi Melissa,
I found your FB page from a post by Julie Ann D. I would like to nominate the children in foster care awaiting adoptive families. My wife and I were fortunate enough to adopt five beautiful siblings this year through the non-profit foster/adoption agency Gateway-Longview.
Sadly, there are many children who wait years in foster care to be matched with their forever families. For some it never comes and they "age out" of foster care before being adopted.
A photograph is often the first impression a potential family gets of these kids, and more often than not they are snapped by a case worker and do not adequately reflect the beauty and truth that each of these kids possess. Just
think what your capabilities and quality photography could mean for some kids who don't yet have parents and families to pose with. It could be the difference of a lifetime for them.
 If you consider this nomination, I would specify Kara M-H as the key person as she is in charge of finding families for kids. Kara is on FB, as is the agency. Thanks for your consideration.
Scott R"

 So, needless to say, I'm all too happy to gift the children awaiting forever families in Gateway-Longview's adoption program. I will be coordinating portrait dates to meet with all of the children currently in the program to provide Gateway Longview with professional portraits to include in each child's introductory packet for prospective families. Whenever a new child becomes a part of Gateway- Longview's program I will make myself and my studio available to provide them with the same.

 Additionally, as each child is adopted I will be gifting their new families with a first family portrait session to help them introduce their new family member to the world.

 As my thank you to Scott and his wife Patty for the nomination and being so Awesome they're getting a pretty rocking thank you gift. I spoke with them both on the phone this morning and the package I've designed for them includes a 3 hr. portrait and candids session, a storyboard of each child and a family album. Also, Patty will be receiving a Bella Donna session as my mom-to-mom gift- I cannot imagine what a super woman you must be Patty but I can't wait to find out!

 Again, thank you to everyone who emailed nominations!

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