Another year, another success for Help-Portrait Moose Jaw as they came and gave 72 groups a gift for the holidays.
Help-Portrait is an initiative where photographers and volunteers get together to give professional photo shoots to families that wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it. Help-Portrait is an international movement that started about nine years ago and cities around the world hold their own Help-Portrait event.
"It takes a crew," said Jess Zoerb, another event coordinator for Help-Portrait Moose Jaw. "We offer a lot of services to these participants which include transportation, hair, makeup, food. We edit photos right on site, we get them printed at Wells and we have somebody picking them up and bringing them back. We have framers we got childcare and so this year we have over 40 volunteers here today."
The volunteers and coordinators were getting ready for a huge day. 72 was a huge effort, but they had 80 penned for the day and 4 on a waiting list.
"It really means a lot to them," said Cecile Hyatt, one of the event coordinators for Help-Portrait Moose Jaw. "For some of these families, this is the first professional photo they've ever had of their family. Their faces light up when they see the framed print of their family. You know it's something they can hang on their wall. It's something that they have all year round as memory of this day and their family."
Help-Portrait drops off applications and finds their clients all over town. Most come from the Multicultural Center, Kids First, YMCA, Salvation Army, and mental health organizations.
This gift means a lot for these families, as they not only get photos, food, and gifts to take home for the holidays. For most though, the picture was the best part.
"I'm really just excited to have a picture of me and the girls that's hopefully going to turn out," said Melissa Lorence. "Since our last picture was from when the littlest one was just a baby."
If you'd like to help out next year or learn more about Help-Portrait Moose Jaw, you can visit their Facebook page, and keep an eye on what's coming next.
Below, you can see not only the handy work of Help-Portrait Moose Jaw, but also the families who will truly have happy holidays because of Help-Portrait.