As you all know, the rebuilding of Joplin tugs on our hearts. We started the Joplin Smile project shortly after the devastating tornado last May and have been so blessed to see how lives were touched by this outreach. From August through October our team of 27 photographers did family portrait sessions for 132 families! How amazing is that!! We can’t thank all of the spectacular photographers enough for the hard work and tears that they have put out there for these folks. If you would like to see some of these beautiful sessions and hear some of the stories, visit the Joplin Smile facebook page.
Shortly after Joplin Smile wrapped up, I received a phone call from one of the gals with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition who extended an invitation to us and our team to take photos of the houses that they were building for Joplin families. We were ecstatic!! We didn’t quite know the details of how many photographers would be needed or how many houses were being built but we knew that we absolutely had to be a part of it. There was so much devastation in Joplin, and this would such a wonderful step in the healing process for this town.
Here is a little peek into the beautiful houses for the amazing families that were chosen.
Seven houses in seven days and 6 photographers = a ton of fun!
Check out the rest of the houses at our talented friends’ blogs! Love Tree Studios (the lovely gals pictured with me above!) Catherine Rhodes Photography, and Jennifer Seris Photography
Here’s a view outside of one of the beautiful backyards. So much was done for Joplin through this amazing project, but as you can see, there is still so much more to be done! Continue keeping these folks in your prayers as they rebuild their beloved city.
I saw a survivor of the May 22nd Joplin tornado on the news a while back, who said that the day of the tornado, their life was paused. Nothing could take place because of the devastation. The thing that stuck with me was when she said that she was so desperate to hit the play button and get back to life; to move on and put the tornado in the past.
That’s what we’re trying to help the Joplin residents achieve with Joplin Smile!
Joplin Smile! is made up of large group of professional photographers from the Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Branson, and Joplin areas who have banded together to donate portrait sessions for the families who have lost everything. These are 100% free photo sessions that include a CD of high resolution images from their time with these incredible photographers. There’s no catch, Joplin residents won’t be asked to spend a dime on these portraits. The available session dates and times span from August 1st through October 30th, so everyone can choose dates that work best for them.
If you know anyone who was affected by the tornado, please send them to the Joplin Smile! website at www.joplinsmile.com. The photographers on our team (who you can see on the website) are set on helping these individuals, couples, and families move forward by creating new memories, and bring some joy back into their lives.
You can be a part of our team by spreading the word! Tell everyone you know about our effort and become a fan of Joplin Smile! on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JoplinSmile. If you want to help out financially, you can purchase a Joplin Smile! T-Shirt on our website.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we reach out to these folks. They have been through so much! Even though we can’t give back what they had, we hope to provide encouragement that will help them take the next step to restoration.