How can I help my community?
I’ve been asking myself this question for years. And even after many entrepreneurial ideas come into mind, I lose faith in my abilities to help all those in need. The task is just too immense! How can I, a woman whose usually drowning in her own to-do’s, help Anyone else in need? I’ve literally had every idea from hosting a hot meal at my house, to renting out a Laundromat and doing less fortunate people’s laundry. Trust me, this is a question that lays heavily on my mind.
I've wracked my brain. I’ve weighed out pros and cons, looked up how to open a charity, how to run a non-profit. I’ve done this so much that every year that passes into the holiday season I weep with what little I’ve accomplished. You can’t just talk the talk, you must walk the walk. What good are my words in helping people?
A couple of days ago, I watched a small film about this incredible young lady who, at the age of 18, left home and traveled to the Andes. All. By. Herself. It was then she witnessed what life was like outside the safety of her own home in the U.S. She cried as she watched children trek through the mountains and forest to fetch pail of water, but ever with a smile on their face. Her spirit was kindled and set ablaze. She had a mission to help these poor orphans. Then she got discouraged. How? There’s so many! Eighty million to be exact. Then with her entrepreneurial mind she thought, okay, small scale, how do I help just one child?
Thats where it began. She was able to adopt, clothe, educate, and find work for over 200 orphans in five years and it only started with one! What an incredible feat and inspiring young lady. This short and inspirational film got me thinking, what if I were to start with one family? One mom?
This is how.
There I was, elbow deep in dirty dishes. As the pile kept growing, my hair kept falling, but my kids kept smiling. They ran around me, one played peek-a-boo between my legs, and the other was giggling. I looked outside myself and imagined what that simple and pure moment in life would look like if time stood still. It was not posed. I was in my bathrobe. The kids were half dressed. But here we were, making a beautiful and pure moment in space and time that I hope I never forget when I lie on my death bed. It is all too often that mothers are left behind, to be the ghost behind the lens. Pictures are taken, but mom is nowhere to be seen. Mom is in the background, making dinner, cleaning snotty noses, baking cupcakes for the fundraiser, picking kids up from soccer, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, and losing herself into her children every ounce, every minute of the day.
To give back, to help my community, my project will be - Mom, You Are Here; lifestyle photography. I will take unposed, raw, pure, beautiful pictures of mom's doing what they do best, being a mother to her children. I will capture the very simple moments, that slip through our memories like fine sand. This is life. And yes, you were here.
As I write this, I have tears in my eyes, and that's how I know this is the right thing to do.