It's so overwhelming to me, seeing this project travel so far and wide, and it doing exactly what I intended it to do: inspire people. I can't do it alone though, and it's been through the support of talented friends, generous family, and thoughtful strangers that The Drawing Hope Project has become what it is today. And, I hope for it to continue growing! It has always been a juggling act for me - doing this between "my day job" as a wedding photographer and studio manager at Renaissance Studios Photography...and lately, finding that time to do both (or either!) has become a bit of a multi-tasking marathon. But as they say: make hay while the sun shines!
Since this entire project is done for free, other than finding the TIME to donate, it is difficult to find the FUNDS as well. When time, travel, gifts, props, photography and more are considered - an average "magical photo shoot" costs anywhere from $250-$500 (or more), and takes a total of 12-15 hours (that I am not spending making money to pay my bills). My friend Rob at Mighty Creative helped me put together a series of designs for shirts and sweaters and I absolutely LOVE THEM. The response after launching the shop just last night has been incredible! 100% of all proceeds from the sale of everything in the shop goes to supporting this project, and allowing me to continue doing this. Added perk? The shirts are awesome and will make you (and whoever sees them) smile. The first batch of shirts are being ordered this Monday, April 28th - so get your orders in early!
My favourite of all of them, though, is the BELIEVE in Real Superheroes shirts, with the red (or pink!) cape on the back. I love imagining how kids might feel when wearing that...or even adults! I think every shirt deserves a cape, and everyone deserves to feel like a Superhero.
Next month we are doing the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay For Life, in Wallaceburg (my home town!). It's an overnight marathon, from 7pm to 7am, with a team of friends and family working together to raise awareness and funding for cancer research. I'm deciding which shirt to wear for the marathon, but am pretty sure it'll be one with a cape (maybe the yellow one?). If you aren't able to purchase a shirt to support this project, maybe you could sponsor me for the relay? I'm 58% of the way to my goal (as of this morning!) with just over 1 month to go. I am relaying in honour and memory of two REAL SUPERHEROES: my Dad, and Marco The Explorer...and everyone else who has fought or is fighting this awful disease. Your support, as always, is MORE APPRECIATED THAN YOU KNOW!
Some of the greatest Superheroes are the ones that have gone before us. They're the ones that live on and inspire us to keep going, encourage us to keep trying, and remind us to keep fighting. No one has ever become poor from giving. Everyone becomes more of a Superhero by helping.