Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Eight shoots, one day!

The Two Birds 'Holiday Card' Fundraiser

The crew and the volunteers arrive. They don't know the families, the bidders. They don't know the children who'll receive warm clothes because they donated their time and talent. But yet, they walk through the door and leave their personal lives outside the studio. They volunteer for one reason: the kids. 
It's all about the kids—the children arriving with their parents to be photographed and the children who will receive coats and clothes, the ones who will be able to play in the snow this winter in winter clothes, not spring clothes.
So I thank you. I thank you if you shared a post about the fundraiser. I thank you if you bid and lost. I thank you if you bid and won. I thank you if you volunteered the first, second or third year. I thank you if you volunteered all three.    
It's not an easy day. It's eight professional shoots in less than six hours. The stylists lay clothes out for the kids with as much effort as they do for a big client. They make the kids feel like rockstars. The hair and make up artists give the children a glow and a sense of confidence—they make the kids feel special. The volunteers snatch the kids up in their arms and play with them like they've known them for years. That amazes me. Every year. No one spends time on their phone. No one is reading the newspaper. Every person in the studio is present — fully present. It's a unique day.  
I love that one little girl kicked her parents out of the shoot because she was having so much fun and wanted all the attention. I love that I got to meet Chickie. I love the emails from parents weeks later telling me their children are still talking about the photo shoot. I love that 7 families have been repeat customers. I love that the children sit on my lap and take pictures of their family with my camera. I love the little boy who tickled me to death. I love when I receive the families' holiday cards in the mail. I love the five adopted vietnamese children that made me stand up and dance my heart out. And I love that we raised $3050 this year. 
I am changed by this project. Unexpectedly, forever changed. I am full of joy and gratitude.

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