In March of 2019, the USA began to experience the severe impact of COVID-19, and many states issued residents to "shelter in place." Very quickly, all lives transitioned in a large way, as we all began to learn the importance of social distancing. Our homes, like never before, became our safe havens, place in which we needed to remain in hopes of not coming down with the illness. Families across the nation made the conscious choice to "stay home and save lives," in hopes to slow the illness in our state and counties.
Cara Soulia had an idea, one that quickly swept this nation. She wanted to make an impact in her community, while adhering to the safety regulations that COVID-19 brought. Her idea was simple: She would arrive at your doorstep during a disused time, and invite your family to your front steps. She would remain a safe distance away (6ft +) and would take your family photo. In exchange, the family would donate to a local charity. Her project alone has raised $300,000 and that amount is still crawling. Little did she know how impactful this project would become. Families have a tangible piece of history to look at as the years pass by, and it's a time that we certainly want documented.
I decided to take on this same project here in Woodbury, Minnesota. I chose to link my project to SoWashCo CARES in hope to reach families right here in my community that are/were in dire need of help. What was once intended to be about 20 families, reached 200+ families; what was once a hope of raising $500, reached to $4500 and counting; what was meant to be a week of photographing families to make a small impact, turned into a 6 week project that had profound impact. I am humbled, and I am honored. My project even reached a local TV station, Kare11, and they captured the essence of this project beautifully.
Kare 11 opened the segment with, "It's not just a Subaru arriving at your doorstep, it's an attitude." Arriving on your door-step with a contagious attitude was simple. Why? Because of YOU. I was greeted warmly by EVERY family. No matter how stressful the day was, we got to spend 5-10 minutes checking in on one another, while I did my best to bring giggles to the scene and create memories. Truth, these moments were very, VERY special to me. I will never forget meeting you all. I will never forget arriving at your home, seeing your family walk out your front door, and sit amongst one another. You sat together, cuddled together, and shared laughter together during such a difficult and awkward time in life. Social distancing is HARD - we were meant to interact with one another and not keep our distance in this way. This project allowed me to continue the simplicity of human connection from a safe distance away.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you all for participating. Thank you all for donating to SoWashCo Cares. My students' families thank you, deeply. I have ended this journey and project for now, as I need time to reflect myself on all that has transpired over the past several weeks. I hope to see you and your families in the near future for another shoot together.
I love you all so much.