Welcome to our second public newsletter.
For those of you who don't know, my name is Gavin Blue and I have the honour to be the President of this very special organisation.
We have had a very busy year so far with increases in requests for our services as well as an increase in administration workload with hospitals bringing in new and expected volunteer requirements. A comparison with February 2017 and 2016 figures further down the newsletter illustrates the growth in session requests.
We have participated in some fun events recently such as the Very Special Kids 24hour treadmill challenge and you can read and check out the photos about that and other activities below.
The core of our service is the members and we never get tired of saying how amazing they are and how profoundly touched we are that they chose to express their generosity by being a member of Heartfelt.
Here are just a two examples of what our members have done recently:
There was a session request in regional Victoria and we noone could cover. A member knew Jade Tauber from a photographer Mums group and knew she was interested in Heartfelt so she messaged her & asked if she would consider joining and looking after the family. The member wasn't really expecting a positive response because she lives on the outskirts of Melbourne but Jade literally dropped everything to get there. Members are encouraged to be available for 10 sessions a year, and in her first month as member, Jade has looked after 5 families and is always quick to respond to call outs, trying all avenues in the hope of making it to a session. She has also found a photographer to join us in the regional town where she did her first session.
She just says she feels blessed to be able to help.
Queensland Elle Irvine is amazing, she heads to all her sessions on public transport and has looked after over 40 families this year. She says that she feels very grateful to be part of Heartfelt.
There is a beautiful spirit amongst the 330+ members who each generously and repeatedly step into the unknown responding to the daily requests to look after a family. They don't look for accolades or seek publicity, they just want to quietly make a difference.
Whether you make the odd donation or encourage photographers you know to join or simply share about our service through your networks, we thank you for helping us make that difference.
Members in Focus
|Feedback from Families
"I am very thankful and appreciative of the beautiful photos
taken of us and our little Rachael by Kristy.
They are beautiful and the memories are priceless.
Thank you for this beautiful gift "
"Thank you for your beautiful photos of our son. They have helped provided us with much cherished memories of our time with him. Your love and support means so much to us and we are so thankful that an organisation like yourself exists! Please accept this small donation as we hope it will help give future parents in situations similar to ours the same comfort and support we have received."
"Because of this amazing foundation I got absolutely beautiful photos to treasure forever of our baby angel Aleisha. Born sleeping. Born at 35 weeks 14.4.17. THANK YOU"
"We are so very grateful to Heartfelt and Christian for the photo memories of Lily that we now have forever, and we would like to pass on this donation as a huge thank you in the hope that the same service can continue to be offered other families in similar circumstances at such a difficult time"
"I want to send you my thanks and appreciation for all you do. A close relative recently needed your services and I was going to suggest you guys to her but you were already there supporting her and giving her and her partner a gift they will always treasure. Thank you thank you!"
"There will never be enough words to thank you for what you have given us. They will be always so much more than just photos - we can hold onto them forever to remember our baby boy. Chelsea was such an amazing person and could not have been more sensitive or supportive to us and our baby thank you xx"
Amelia McKee - NSW member
Where do you live?
I live in Baulkham Hills which is about 45 mins out form the Sydney CBD. My family home is in the very next street so I’ve lived here my entire life!
How long have you been part of Heartfelt?
I don’t actually know! (feel free to add this in) While it feels like forever I’m very happy to have completed many sessions now and be able to help other on this path as many other members have guided and supported me.
What’s your family like?
I have been married for 10 years this year to the love of my life and number one team member Andrew. He is such a super helper with my Hearfelt session, coming home from work and changing his plans to help me get places.
My son Oscar is 7.5 and my daughter Lola is nearly four. They are the most important humans to me in the world and I’m so glad to have them.
If you won the lotto, would you still be a photographer?
I think maybe, just with my family. For me family time is paramount so id be so happy to spend every moment with them.
What motivated you to join Heartfelt?
I think its easing the pain of others. When people experience such pain theres not to much anyone can do. Having concrete, photographic memories to cherish is just a little thing we can do to help those grieving.
And I can - so why wouldn’t i?
What has been your most profound experience with Heartfelt?
I think seeing an image i took on a thread about Heartfelt that someone had made into a special age with a beautiful poem on it. Knowing they were happy and proud to share that image makes me incredibly happy.
What do you do to prepare or debrief from a session?
I dont do too much. I’m a generally happy and positive person I take away good things form each session. That I was there. That I made a difference. That hopefully someone these people will find joy again. That I have a wonderfully family to be thankful for.
What would you say to photographers who are considering joining, but are having some reservations?Of course this work isn’t for everyone. And thats okay. But know if you join there will be an ocean of support, camaraderie and friends waiting to support you. And if its doesn’t work out thats cool. You gave it a go
We have such a wonderful community in the NSW area and I love being around all of these wonderful members.
And of course that our meeting are riots. Especially when I host! HA HA!
Amelia, thank you for being a member
|New Fundraising Hub
We received many requests from families asking how can they support us.
To make it easier we have created a fundraising hub with templates of some of the most common types of events people choose to create.
We can also help with donation envelopes and boxes, Heartfelt Custom running tops that can be customised with the name and date of your child.
You can find the link on our main page under the "support us" tab or use the link
We are still fine-tuning the layout so please excuse us while we get it right.
|Heartfelt Team supports Very Special Kids in their 24hr Treadmill Challenge
Each year Heartfelt creates a team to participate in the Very Special Kids 24hr Treadmill Challenge. Very Special Kids is a Melbourne service that cares for children with life-threatening conditions by providing a children’s hospice and professional support services to families.
The call goes out through the Facebook page and the team is made up from families we have looked after, their friends, nurses, midwives, teachers and other supporters.
The atmosphere is incredible with over 30 teams running side by side in a huge marquee to the sounds of a great music from a DJ, enjoying visits from celebrities, footy players, families from the hospice and local businesses supplying food all working towards the common goal of making a difference for families.
This year we raised over $18000 with the whole event raising over $829,000.
Big thanks to team captains Jenni Williams and Fiona Handbury and their incredible stamina to fly the flag for Heartfelt.
|High Tea for Heartfelt
Supporters of Heartfelt from the Newcastle region joined together to ensure theinaugural Newcastle High Tea for Heartfelt was a resounding success.
Managers of the Mercure Charlestown in Newcastle, Grant andAmanda Vickery offered Heartfelt the opportunity to run the fundraiser andNational Secretary Viv Hayles jumped at the chance.
"It's a fun idea to come together for a lovelyafternoon together and an easy way to raise money fo Heartfelt " said Viv."Right here in the Hunter, sixteen photographers have provided 66Heartfelt sessions in the past 12 months. Today's efforts have helped provideanother 22 sessions" she said.
The 53 guestsincluded families and friends of those who had used the services of Heartfelt,staff from the John Hunter Hospital Delivery Suite and NICU as well as four ofthe local Heartfelt photographers.
Raffle prizes were donated by Michelle Dobson (Heartfeltphotographer and proprietor of Miss Monroe), Charna Manson (Exotic Waterwear),Anne Mayes (Games Shop, Charlestown) and Mercure Charlestown.
High Tea for Heartfelt in Newcastle raises $1470
Please contact Viv Hayles on firstname.lastname@example.org ifyou'd like to help organise or donate to next year's High Tea for Heartfelt.