Statistics say one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and 3 to 10 million children will witness it. I was one of those women and my children not only witnessed it, but experienced it first-hand themselves.
Within a year of filing for divorce, my ex-husband was arrested on felony child abuse and domestic violence charges. In order to create any semblance of safety, my children and I were relocated to a location unknown to him. We changed our names and SSN's to help ensure our safety and went into hiding for years.
One of the reasons women stay in abusive relationships they know they should end is because of the children. I stayed 10 years and in the end, he had me convinced I'd never be able to take care of my kids on my own. Sadly, over the last 6 years, this has proven true on more occasions than I'd like. I often find myself wishing I would have stayed in the relationship. While together. I never had to worry about the utilities being shut off, being too poor to afford to turn the heat on in winter, or clothing and feeding my kids. Even now, years later I often wish I had stayed just because it was easier to take care of my kids when we were together.
Because of my new identity, little things like proving I graduated high school are nothing short of problematic. I've actually been encouraged by more than one college to go take my GED just to make the process easier, despite having graduated from high school with honors 20 years ago. As you can imagine, gaining employment adequate enough to support my family has been virtually impossible.
On paper, I'm 5 years old. There is nothing about my identity that exists prior to 2008, there's no job references I can list, there's no formal training I can highlight, none of that. Despite these difficulties, I'm committed to do as Cornelius Robinson advises in the movie Meet the Robinson's and "keep moving forward." Right now I'm going to school full time while I juggle home-schooling my youngest three children and babysitting my nephew about 50 hours a week. Recently I discovered my natural photography talent and it has since become a passion. Since February of 2012 I’ve taken nearly 35k shots with dozens of people, places, and things as the subject. In August of 2012 I entered the four photos below in the county fair and all 4 won ribbons, including a first place award for my first attempt at night photography.
In taking all of these shots, I’ve learned one thing…I need better equipment if I’m ever going to turn my talent into a profitable career. Equipment I can’t afford on my own. While I’ve had some decent results with the entry-level-low-end gear I have, I’d be able to get phenomenal results with high-end gear. My goal is to enter some of my images in the fair again this year on the professional level, to do that though, I need professional gear.
That’s where YOU come in! When the goal is met, I’ll be able to purchase the two most common lenses recommended for indoor and outdoor portraits and a back-up camera body just in case one should fail during a shoot, providing me with all the resources I need to start charging competitive rates for my work and support my children.
Leaving was hard enough. Not being able to adequately support my children because of everything I did to feel safe just adds insult to injury. Every donation counts and your donation will make a difference not just in our lives, but in lives of countless others who will enjoy the images I am able to provide.
Your help getting the items below is great appreciated!
Name of Item
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
(one of two most recommended lenses for portraits - primary use outdoors)
Canon EF 24-105mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens(second of two most recommended lenses for portraits - primary use indoors)
Canon - Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0-MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm Lens
Ultra High Capacity Li-ion Battery
Accidental Damage Insurance on lenses and body
*The 50 dollar difference in what all of these items cost and the fundraising goal has been added to offset any fluctuation in pricing. In the event that the prices remain exactly the same, the $50 difference will be spent on more books or backdrops.
You can click on the give button at the top right of this page to give securely through PayPal (no PayPal account required) or, if you'd prefer to send a money order as a few of my supporters have, you can do that too.
PO Box 257
Olympia, WA 98507
Thank you in advance for your help in putting our lives back together! To see more of my work, please visit my Facebook page or blog.