This whole notion of fundraising has sort of taken over my life. A few weeks ago the concept of actually raising $35,000 was flat out impossible. As a family we plotted and schemed all the ways we could make it work. I could go back to teaching, Jory could get a second job, we could put the kids on a busy intersection and make them dance... All of our ideas seemed "iffy" at best. We kept coming back to the photography fundraiser I did to raise money for the Max and the other Journeys of Joy kids to come. It worked once, it can work again, right? So although it seemed like an unlikely solution, I put all my efforts back into a photography project. This one is called "Bring Max Home" and although it started out small like the other one did, this one has sort of taken on a life of it's own. A woman here in town (a total stranger, really) heard about my story and passed it on to the local media. Our story was picked up by a local news affiliate, and will air this Friday. During our interview, the reporter mentioned that our time slot has a viewing audience of 30,000. All of a sudden that impossible goal doesn't sound that impossible anymore.
A friend of mine who lives in California was curious about my fundraising efforts and how I got to where I am... I'm a self taught photographer who likes working as low budget as possible. I shoot everything on location (not in a studio) so I never use expensive studio lights or backgrounds. I've never taken a photography class, everything I know I learned from following photographers blogs, and by reading whatever I could find at the library. I shoot with a cannon digital rebel xt. Not the highest quality camera on the market, but if you know how it works, it can be a great tool.
As far as getting myself from "a busy mom with a camera" to "a photographer who raises money for a living" I'm not sure how that happened. I can tell you that I let my faith in Jesus Christ guide my thoughts and actions, and one day I felt that God wanted me to pick up my camera and put it to use for His kingdom. So even though I thought it was a dumb idea, I did what He asked. So my biggest advice is this: Find out what God wants you to do and do it. Even if it sounds dumb. Make yourself available, and get out of the way. God works best when you don't try to interfere. I have to remind myself daily that this is not my project and as long as I "follow directions" I can't screw it up.
So this is what it's all about. A cute little boy who lives near the arctic circle...