For the last couple of weeks I’ve gone back and forth about what this post should be about. I’ve seen so many photographers do blog posts with their favorite images from the year. All beautiful, stunning, creative, and unique photos. Ones that made me want to do a similar post, reminiscing on some of my favorite moments and images from this year. But, when I really think about it, the best moments for us as a business this year were not when we clicked the shutter. Don’t get me wrong, we loved all those moments and are thrilled that we had the privilege of being there for all of our clients on their wedding day. But, when I thought long and hard, the weddings that we documented all lent themselves to something much greater than just one day. And, for us, our proudest moment of 2012 came when I looked back and saw the difference that WE made. Together. Because all year I intended on keeping you updated on the progress of the projects we aided with Thirst Relief, but I didn’t get around to doing it. So now at the end of the year I took a full look back at what we were able to do this year, and I. Was. Amazed.
A couple years ago we announced that we would be partnering with Thirst Relief International by donating a portion of everything that clients invest with us to a cause that, I believe, is a great one. We have since helped in building water wells and biosand filters in all different parts of the world but this year? This year was our biggest year yet in terms of being able to help further the cause of Thirst Relief. And for that, I feel so incredibly humbled and honored. Because, for me, it means that our clients didn’t just see the value in beautiful wedding photography, but they saw the value in paying it forward and investing generously so that we could give generously.
This year, together, we are able to help provide clean water for 2,591 people. TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY ONE!!! Did you read that right? Cause it took me a few times of typing to make sure I typed it correctly. Do you guys have ANY IDEA how absolutely incredible that is? And it was all made possible by YOU. And for that, I can’t thank you enough.
Below are the projects we were able to assist with this year. I want you to read them and to know that by hiring us for your wedding, you…YOU…are directly responsible for changing the lives of these people.
Haiti Filter Project
Thirst Relief has provided a large power generator to an orphanage of about 130 children. The generator pumps water from their well to all water needs at the orphanage. Thirst Relief has also installed numerous biosand filters to ensure that the water these children are drinking is disease free.
India Well Project
Thirst Relief went in and bore hole wells equipped with hand pumps or submerged electric pumps provide a sustainable clean water supply where ground water sources are a viable option. These wells are drilled using portable drill rigs to depths up to 250 feet, or commercial drill rigs to depths up to 800 feet.
Brazil Filter Project
Thirst Relief’s ground partners in Brazil, Xingu Mission, work closely with the indigenous peoples that live along the Amazon river and/or basin. There is no lack of water on the Amazon. However, the water is filled with a deadly combination of viruses, bacteria and parasites.
Tanzania Filter Project
Thirst Relief’s ground partners in Tanzania operate through SON International in Dar Es Salaam. This was the location of a huge fundraiser where Thirst Relief hosted a benefit photography shoot. Some of the worlds most renowned photographers joined the shoot and captured moving images of the incredible work being accomplished at the water project in Tanzania.
Cameroon Filter Project
Thirst Relief’s ground partners in Cameroon operate through Life Water & Development Group. Many exciting projects develop in Cameroon from things like WASH Projects, water catchment system and piping projects, to this Biosand Filter Project.
Rwanda Filter Project
Thirst Relief’s ground partner in Rwanda operates through Frontier Harvest Ministries. The dedicated team provides water projects to the people of Rwanda with precision by targeting areas with the greatest needs. Frontier Harvest has also converted from the concrete to the plastic Biosand filter which greatly helps with mobility and maintenance.
I’ll conclude with a few photos, and a challenge for 2013. The challenge is to make this year even bigger and better. How awesome would it be if we could double the amount of lives changed? Today, on this last day of 2012, if you are compelled to do something personally, Thirst Relief currently has a matching campaign going on that, I believe, ends today. So if you want a last minute deduction and want your money to go further than it normally would, go over to Thirst Relief and donate. And then sit back and enjoy the incredible joy you will feel by knowing that you made a difference in the lives of someone who lives in a place that doesn’t have access to clean water.