I was sitting at my desk when I got the email telling me that the fundraising dinner for Hope Resource Center was canceled this year due to Coronavirus. Since it’s an annual event that happens in the spring every year, postponing wasn’t going to work. They decided to move it to a virtual fundraising event where a Hope patient would share her experience, and they would ask viewers to donate as they felt moved. The biggest pro to doing the event this way is they saved the video to social media and shared it for people who couldn’t attend the initial airing. The biggest con to doing it this way is there is little to no accountability for people feeling led to give.
Fast forward a couple weeks, and I’m watching in admiration as my church is serving our community so beautifully. They are providing meals for hospital staff and people who have lost their jobs. They are sending cards to nursing homes. They are helping churches meet their mortgage or rent payments to stay in their buildings. There is one thing I will NEVER think twice about, and it’s how Shoreline Church stewards their resources.
During one of the virtual meetings with our pastor, he challenged us to seize this opportunity. Based on history, when there is a massive pandemic like the current one, it will always parallel a religious movement. If we aren’t careful, this whole season will pass us, we will not have changed a single thing, and this opportunity will have passed. When that Facebook live ended, the Lord laid Hope Resource on my heart. I emailed our pastor at Shoreline and the executive director at Hope to pose an idea. Both loved it so I began the process of securing everything we needed. The first thing was a location. I figured I would have to reach out to several to find one that was available that weekend (just 3 weeks away at this point), but the very first place was Maple Grove Estate. They responded immediately and said they would LOVE to donate their venue for the weekend! It was such a blessing to find something so quick. Next, all we needed were people to sign up.
I function best off goals so when I announced the fundraiser, the number the Lord laid on my heart was $10k. I knew that would be a lot. In order to get to the $10k, we needed 25 people to sign up. I haven’t done mini sessions in a long time, but when I did, I usually maxed out at about 10 families. And that’s when I was doing them for $50-$100 apiece. Getting 25 people on board was going to be hard, but I knew it was something God was wanting so I knew it was going to happen. With one week left, we still needed 15 people. I was a little panicky and started emailing every person I knew haha. I was Instagram messaging, Facebook messaging, and texting. You name it, and I was doing it. I wanted to meet that goal! I am a goal meeter. I am so excited and happy to tell you that not only did we meet our goal, we exceeded it with 28 families!
That weekend was long, but it was beautiful and so amazing. Meeting so many new families, seeing so many of my past AMP families, and best of all, seeing Hope patients that had sessions donated to them by others that couldn’t attend. We had a STUNNING venue, gorgeous light, and so much sweet gratitude. But, friends…I am the thankful one. It took me longer than I wanted to get these back to you because I could NOT narrow down to 15 photos per family. Every single one of you brought me so much joy, and my heart was overflowing with your generosity and your trust in me to give you pictures you love in such a short time. My hope is you not only love them, but you continue to follow Hope to see how your generosity impacts them and their patients over the year!
I’m a Knoxville Wedding Photographer that loves to travel…I shoot anywhere! Click here to contact me with any questions you have about pricing or booking! If you liked what you saw above, go ahead and follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see my daily updates of the latest sessions!
See more from Amanda May Photos:
A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline, and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day.