I'm inspired by so many things in life... I'm inspired by couples who have been together more than 40 years; will I be this happy? How will I keep the spark alive? I'm also inspired by fellow artists, the Annie Leibovitzes and the Dorothea Lange's - the impact they have had on mainstream society. The connection they have with their subjects. It's not only inspiring, but it's a great gift to have a platform like that. I'm also inspired by people who just want to make the world a better place, and do what they can to help... to use whatever influence and connections they have and siphon them to those who need it. Two weeks ago, I was approached by a group of amazing ladies to be a part of their non-profit... It's called Sonomans Offering Support(SOS). Inspired by stories told throughout our small community - the mother who lost her husband and is struggling to figure out how she can manage 'alone'; or the child who is suddenly diagnosed with illness - and the parents who need to find the unbridled strength to not only provide support, but also find money for the unforeseen medical bills. Help takes on many forms - it could be groceries, it could be monetary, it could be childcare; each circumstance is different, and this is where SOS comes into play.
Providing Support; Strengthening Community. That's the mission statement for this beautiful group. I say beautiful because the goal is so pure, but I also say beautiful because the board of directors is made up of eight women, all mothers, all working together like a well-oiled machine. I'm honored to be among these woman. Their energy, their passion and their drive is nothing short of inspiring.
There are some amazing SOS events planned throughout the next year, but the kickoff event is going to be particularly impressive. Imagine 200 people perched on the hillside of Sonoma at a private estate. Scents from gourmet food trucks fill the air; the bass from the amazing band echoes in your chest; and the collection of silent auction items gets you giddy. And who can forget the amazing valley's wine?
My goal is this: Fourty years from now, I'll be strolling along the Sonoma Plaza, holding hands with my husband. My images will have touched some people, and I will know that I worked hard to capture their amazing life events and their amazing families. More importantly, I will look around my community and know that I was a part of lifting up some people at a time when they really needed it. I will have shown my son, by example, that caring for one another and giving back are not only important in families but also in communities.