On May 14, 2016 we hosted our 4th annual Mother’s Day Photoshoot with the Stepping Stones young moms and their kids. We had a variety of people come out and volunteer their entire afternoons to make sure that this event ran smooth and that the moms fully got to enjoy their day. This photoshoot is something that is so important to all of us at Stepping Stones. A lot of the moms in our program are lower income as well as single moms, so getting their hair and makeup done and having professional pictures done isn’t something that they can afford to have done. By having this photoshoot every year, these moms get a chance to be completely pampered all day and then have pictures taken of them and their kids. The impact that this makes on them for self confidence alone is huge, there is a big difference even from the time they arrive to seeing them look in the mirror once their hair and makeup is done.
This year we had 4 students from Eveline Charles Academy come in to do hair and makeup for the girls, one of the students is also a young mom from Stepping Stones! She got to be a part of getting the other girls ready and then she was also able to get her hair and makeup done as well. The best part was hearing her reaction after the day was over, she said “I am so happy I got to help pamper some of the other moms! Sometimes it feels even better to give than to receive.” That reaction was so amazing and shows the heart that a lot of these moms have, complete selflessness. She didn’t mind that she was the last girl to have pictures take, she didn’t mind that she was spending most of her day helping other girls look their best, she actually fully enjoyed giving back.
On top of having the 4 students out, we also had 3 incredibly talented photographers come out to share their gifts and take pictures of these amazing young moms and their kids. Carly (3haus photographics), Emily (Woodland Photography Co.) and Jennifer (JNZ Photography) all came out and did such an incredible job photographing these moms, they helped put the moms at ease and have given them an amazing gift that they’ll be able to cherish for years as the moms watch their children grow before their eyes.
We wouldn’t have been able to pull this day off without all the help we received from Imagining Church, not only allowing us to use their space, we also had a small group come in and provide our entire lunch, they bought it and prepared it all for us! That took a huge stress out of our day, on top of that we also had 2 amazing volunteers join one of our staff in the child care room while the moms got ready. They watched all of the kids, kept them calm and happy and even helped get them ready (clothing wise) to go get pictures done with their moms. That makes a huge difference in a day that is already so busy for these moms, they don’t need to worry about their kids.
Last, but certainly not least, we included a new aspect to our photoshoot this year! As the day was winding up and everyone had their pictures done we gathered together in a smaller space and had someone share her story with the girls. She shared a story that a lot of these girls can relate to, walking through an abortion, drug use, becoming pregnant at a young age etc. But more than that she shared how it was Jesus who came into her life and helped her the most. For a lot of these girls it was the first time hearing a gospel message and it was very well received.
We are so excited about how well this turned out and we cannot wait to run it for the 5th time next year! Expanding on what we’ve already been doing and being a blessing in the lives of these young moms!
Thank you to our incredible photographers!
Carly - 3haus Photographics (www.facebook.com/3haus; www.3haus.ca)
Jennifer - JNZ Photography (www.facebook.com/JNZPhotography/; http://jnz.myfotojournal.com/)
Emily - Woodland Photography Co. (www.facebook.com/WoodlandCo; http://www.woodlandphotographyco.com)