Help-Portrait Update {Gigi’s Joy Photography: Racine Hospitality Center}

Help-Portrait, Racine Hospitality Center

Rev. and Mrs. Stewart: Racine Hospitality Center VIPs

About a week ago, Kenny Gregory and I did a Help-Portrait event at the Racine Hospitality Center. I had good intentions of taking some Behind-the-Scenes images to share, but when I looked back at the files afterward, these are all I had:


(These are the shots you get when you’re testing the lights and pointing the camera randomly and clicking the shutter to make sure that everything is working correctly. I turned them black and white so that folks could assume they are meant to be artistic.)


Kenny and Jessica

Kenny and I tethered the camera to the computer, so that after I took the pictures, they popped up on the computer right away. Kenny sat with the guests to help them choose their favorite images and order their prints, and his wife Jessica, greeted people and explained the process. The Hospitality Center was hosting an Open House, so that made the atmosphere even more festive with lots of folks in and out, and live music in the background.

Last year, I didn’t tell anyone I was doing this ahead of time, I just wrote a blog post reflecting on it afterward. It seemed tacky to say “hey – I’m going to go do something nice!” This year was a bit different. Since Kenny and I were looking for donations of frames, I needed to post something ahead of time, and was very apprehensive to do so. (For the same, “hey – I’m going to go do something nice!” reason as stated above.)

I posted it, and then was blown away by the response and made an important discovery. You see, when you tell someone “hey – I’m going to do something nice” – it gives other folks new ideas on ways they can do something nice, too. Kenny and I were contacted by so many people who wanted to help. Folks cleaned out closets looking for frames, and some went out and bought new ones. Our local 4-H club, here in Yorkville – contacted its members and were able to collect many frames in just a few days time.

My friend Michelle (pictured below with my oh-so-handsome godson) told her 5th grade class at Oriole Park Elementary in Chicago about what I was doing and where I was doing it, and they took up their own collection for the Hospitality Center.


The students took a look at what was needed from the website, and in one week her class collected:

21 pounds of coffee
26 pounds of sugar
15 cans of nonperishable food
5 bags of pasta
10 hats
14 sets of gloves
12 warm, winter coats
7 sweaters
3 flannel shirts
1 new, comfy sweatsuit
10 thermal shirts
3 scarves
AND $100 that will be doubled by a donor in Racine

The hesitant “hey – I’m going to do something nice” snowballed into:

“Oh, my goodness – look what we all just did together!”

Thanks, Friends.

2 Comments on “Help-Portrait Update {Gigi’s Joy Photography: Racine Hospitality Center}

  1. I understand your hesitance on saying ‘Hey, I’m doing something nice’ and Thankfully I have seen so many people step up that I also might be able to share easier next time.

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