Thursday, September 20, 2007

For the past months we have been using the talent of many local photographers to capture images for our Soul families. Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of seeing the first shoot for Dana Napolean as well as work by Sandra Coan and Susan Doupe. I am so grateful to these women for their vision and their gift of compassion. To say that I am thrilled with our photographers is putting it mildly. Each person has given a beautiful piece of themselves to families. I salute a new shooter on the Soul scene, Sharlane. We have not seen the photos yet, but Sarah asked her to do her first shoot yesterday at Children's and she went directly to her car and arrived at the hospital in time to capture a few shots in the last minutes of a beautiful baby's life. I was out shooting when this all happened and in that short time I was away from the office, Sarah had booked that shoot and another one as well. My head reels from the pace of this work and I could not even think of handling the work load without our photographers, Soul staff- Sarah, Maude, Tammara, as well as board members and volunteers---especially Kari,2 Debs, Brenna, Christa and Alexandra.

I was quietly sitting at our paper cutter one night a couple of weeks ago and just thinking about how it makes me a bit sad that I no longer get to meet each child that we serve. I know this has to be the way of Soulumination-- that we keep growing with help of gifted shooters, but its hard for me not miss the hands on part of the connecting with each family. As I worked alone at the cutter, getting the pieces ready for my dear friend Lois to take home to construct the trifolds that are a part of our gift to each and every family, I realized that even though I do not personally take all the photos anymore that I do touch each family in a quieter way. Its funny, no one else seems to settle into this cutting of the papers but me. I like the repetitive nature of such work, I love paper and I adore the fact that we offer the families something that is handmade. So my heart is happy that in some small way I connect with each family, and I feel honored to meet in person those that I work with directly.

Today I share photos from Emily's 4th birthday party and the great news that she is home and responding well to the new round of chemo. You can see
her here with her grandma and again with her mom and grandpa. Also, enjoy the latest photo of our little movie star, Victor. He

is shown sporting his new glasses. At the top of this blog find photos from the movie party taken by our talented friend, Michael Good.

We need a couple of volunteers to help Sarah keep things afloat here at Soul Ballard. We are so much busier than ever and some of the simple hands-on tasks are things that we could sure use some help with. None of this work is glamorous, but like my cutting the papers, it all adds to the legacy of these amazing children and now the parents. Please call Sarah at 206-297-0885 if you have time to offer. We will soon be hosting work parties to embellish and assemble prayer flags as well as our new seed cards and the popular Sydney cards. We would so appreciate your time and efforts.

I close thinking about how appreciative I am of our grant writers, Shirley and Audrey, as well as Soul parent Matt who has agreed to meet with me about funding this mission. We are facing the fact that the growth in our services has to be matched by monetary backing in proportion to this expansion. I worry sometimes, but just hope that if we serve each family to the best of our abilities, that the right thing will happen. In love and peace, Lynette