St. Augustine beach weddings at the beginning of August can be dicey. Will it be 99 degrees and 100% humidity? Will it a surprise rainstorm suddenly roll in during the ceremony? Honestly, it's always a gamble and nobody knows! But Devin and Caleb lucked out during...
I volunteer because I’m selfish. A personal blog on my birthday.
Hopefully my blog title got your attention because frankly, it is meant to be a bit of a shocker! In a way, I do volunteer because I’m selfish!! Since today, December 28th, is my birthday, I figured I would post a more personal blog. I thought it would be a great time to finally post a blog that has been on my heart. Many of my friends and fans have enjoyed the amazing kids photos I’ve taken the past two years for the Hope Haven Down syndrome Calendar. I am SO proud of that calendar, and I just love what Hope Haven offers all of those adorable kids and their families. I’ve been a professional photographer since 2011 and a full-time photographer for almost two years. I’m so thankful I am able to do what I love. But, if you’ve read my bio you know that my realization on how important photos are came in 2010 when I photographed Catie, a young girl that I loved who eventually lost her life to cancer. Her family and I still CHERISH the photos I took of her. That is why I offer free family sessions for kids with cancer. Because I do think about what I can do to help make this world better and to leave a legacy and the best way I know how to do that is through my lens!
It’s funny, pretty much every time I post a photo from the calendar on Facebook, I get comments like, “Sarah, you have such a big heart,” or, “You are amazing” or, “You are awesome” or, “What you are doing with these beautiful children is amazing and inspiring!”
Literally, every time someone comments on my charity posts I want to respond back with, “If you only knew how great I felt after this shoot, or how amazing it is to see how many people are touched by these photographs!”
So, I’m selfish because it makes me feel good to give back!
Volunteering isn’t easy I will admit. I definitely don’t do it for the “Thank You’s” because sometimes they never come.
But, I have to make sure I keep in mind the REAL reason I am giving back: TO
Bring awareness and happiness to others when they see the pictures
Bring joy to the child or family
Say thank you (It’s why I do free military homecomings)
Prove that there’s still good in this world
Hope that I will inspire others to do the same and create a legacy that will live on after me
So, Where can YOU volunteer?
Ok, enough about me. My real goal for this blog was to hopefully inspire others to WANT to volunteer. So, I wanted to give some easy options that ANYONE can do. First an foremost, one of my favorite nights this year was Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine It’s literally one night a year, all over the world and thousands of people volunteer! I had a BLAST this year in Jacksonville. Here are a few shots from the event:
Many of my friends volunteered with me, and we all had fun. So, if you want a place to start, here you go! 🙂
Another fun day once a year is Dream’s Come True Dream Day! It happens in June, and you don’t even HAVE to officially volunteer, you can just show up and cheer on the dreamers! These are all kids battling a life-threatening illness!
So, if you’re one that needs to be a witness of hope, this is the volunteer day for you! These kids don’t complain, so why do you?
If you’re read this far, you either love me or felt bad not to continue! So, I have to say thank you for reading the selfish reasons why I volunteer. If you haven’t already and really want to smile on a daily basis, you should purchase one of the 2018 Hope Haven Calendars! Just scroll to the bottom of THIS page and purchase one! If you want me to, I will autograph it! You just have to let me know that you’ve purchased it, and I will go by Hope Haven and sign it for you. Also, I would love to hear ways YOU volunteer. It’s always good to share with others how they can give back (and be selfish) too! So please, leave a comment below 🙂
Jacksonville has had a bit of a rough weather patch for the last month or so - and it's been wreaking havoc on my photo sessions. I'm starting to think that North Florida missed the memo that spring was a few months ago! However, the weather has finally decided to...