I connect to my community and give back by mentoring youth, participating at speaking engagements, donating gift certificates to local fundraising auctions, quietly offering my services complimentary to families in need, and providing photography to a plethora of local not-for-profit organizations. Here are a few that are close to my heart:
Having been touched personally with the emotions of having a sick child, it was a natural fit for me to lend my storytelling ability to those walking the same road. Now, most of my work with sick children is done very privately as a gift to a family, or through the Comox Valley organization You Are Not Alone (YANA), which provides support to those in our community who have to travel to receive care for their sick children. Through YANA, I spent time at Vancouver Children’s Hospital documenting the truth of these families’ struggles. These images, along with ones I create here in the Comox Valley of little survivors, are gifted to the families as well as used for fundraising efforts for YANA.
For something a bit different, and to connect to my daughter’s passion, I volunteer to photograph for promotional images of local youth theatre. I am a bit of a musical-theatre nerd – and I am way better at this, than being the parent in charge of set-building. The last few years it has been my pleasure to work with Courtenay Youth Music Centre‘s Musical Theatre program, Courtenay Little Theatre, as well as with the local high school’s annual musical production. I am inspired by the kids that put themselves out there and those that work so hard in leading them.
When I moved to the Comox Valley from East Vancouver, I was struck by the invisibility of our homeless here. Things are changing, and our community is making strides to provide support on the street and address the issue of affordable housing. One of those making a difference is the crew at Comox Bay Care Society, and through them I spent some time learning the stories of those on the street, and creating images for the society.
I have also enjoyed volunteering for St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation (you will find my photos in their promotional material as well as on the walls of St. Joseph’s), also documenting the shenanigans of local art festivals such as Elevate The Arts, and raising funds for the Cumberland Forest Society as well as contributing to other local charities and community projects.