Giving Tuesday is a Day to Share Love and Gratitude

Today and every day, we are aware of the importance of giving in order to create moments of joy for others. This year, we compiled a list of non-profits that are giving beautiful gifts to individuals and communities through hard work and dedication.

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Non-profits like these benefit from your generosity, and so do those they serve. Take a moment today to look at some of the work they are doing. We invite you to be inspired by the joy and healing they put out into the world.

Make a Wish Foundation

The Make a Wish Foundation is dear to the heart of our founder and executive producer, Susannah Ludwig, and the company that she created. Susannah’s early life was marked by multiple life saving surgeries.

This helped her to realize that every day is a gift and there is joy even in the smallest moments. The Make a Wish Foundation believes that “one moment changes everything.” The foundation helps to make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses, making treasured moments for children and their families.

Kids in Need Foundation

As a Board Member of Kids the Kids in Need Foundation, Susannah gets to see first hand the good work that this organization does in communities around the United States.

Kids in Need provides backpacks and school supplies for students living in poverty so that they are able to go to school confident and ready to learn. As Susannah shares, “it makes a huge difference for kids… you can see how having their own school supplies, something that may seem so small, improves their self esteem.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Through Portraits that Heal, we have helped Alex’s Lemonade Stand share its mission to cure childhood cancer by sharing the stories of children the organization has helped.

Alex’s Lemonade stand, founded by parents who lost their daughter to cancer, supports funding for fighting childhood cancer by raising money for scientific research and by helping families who are living with cancer.

See more of Kaela’s Hero Story, created by Portraits that Heal.

Feeding Matters

Feeding Matters is committed to helping kids who have trouble eating. In addition to connecting to Susannah’s childhood surgeries and related challenges, the mission of helping children be nourished so they can thrive is an inspiring and important mission.

The organization “furthers advances in pediatric feeding disorder by accelerating identification, igniting research, and promoting collaborative care for children and families.” The work they do is not always recognized on a large national stage but it makes a tremendous impact on the children and families whose lives they change.



Manna

Manna, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is more than a food bank. The organization promotes therapeutic nutrition, working hard to connect those in need with healthy food. As the organization explains, Manna “uses nutrition to improve health for people with serious illnesses who need nourishment to heal.” The Manna team does this by providing medically tailored meals and nutrition education… to improve their health and quality of life.”

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Portraits that Move remembers Manna in a special way this Giving Tuesday. Founder Susannah Ludwig’s aunt, who passed away just before Thanksgiving, was a deeply involved volunteer with Manna. We encourage those who are moved to support the organization to do so in her memory.

Brooklyn Public Library

Libraries always need funding! The contributions they make to our local communities is incredible, though often unsung. From literacy programs for kids to job resources for adults, the Brooklyn Public Library is both a cultural center and a center of service for our communities.

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How many small, special moments have you created with your kids in your neighborhood library? Help them keep making moments like these for our kids and our neighbors.

Arthur Project

The Arthur Project helps underserved middle school students. Providing mentoring to students at this critical juncture in their lives can help to transform their experience and put them on the path to health, safety, and success, as it did for the organization’s co-founder in her own life.

Susannah recently worked with Snapdragon Films to create a video for the Arthur Project and has been inspired by the work the organization does. The Arthur Project is a new non-profit tackling challenges in new and engaging ways.

Resolution vs. Intention: Choosing Joy and Gratitude

There is an energy to this time of year, when we sit down and list what we want to do and how we want to be. We welcome the changes that a new year brings.  We write down our goals, we make plans to achieve them, we may even resolve to be more present, to savor the moment.

This year, at Portraits that Move, we are taking a slightly different approach to the coming year.  Rather than list out resolutions, ways we want to be different, things we want to change about ourselves or our circumstances, we are choosing to focus on intention.  All of us at Portraits that Move are committing to living and working and observing with intention.  Rather than a resolution to be more, to do more, to change this or that in a quest for a goal, this year, we are listening to that voice that reminds us to stop, to look at our life, at our work and at our goals and to determine how they align with our intention to find joy and to be grateful.

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We are lucky because doing so is exactly how we live out the Portraits that Move mission through the work we do as filmmakers every day.  We get to find and celebrate joy and gratitude every time we document the lives of families, and we have the unique privilege of being able to reflect that joy and gratitude back to them when we deliver their Portrait Films. 

This year, our team will work with all kinds of families.  For each of them, the coming days and months will take twists and turns.  In what seems like a moment, their children will grow, change, discover and surprise them.  In those moments - the unexpected, the everyday and the in between - they will discover joy and gratitude, and we will help them to witness it, and to preserve it. 

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To you, the families we have grown with, and the new families we will meet this year, as you set your goals and state your resolutions, try to remember the peace and togetherness you found in the holiday season, or the peace and togetherness that you may have found at more unexpected, unplanned moments throughout the last year.  Like all of us, you are busy, every day, building your lives and your memories.

Our wish for you, our intention for, and our promise to you in the new year, is that you choose joy and that you choose gratitude through all of the beautiful, messy, ordinary and chaotic days this new year has in store.

Love and Legacy

We often talk about the fleeting nature of time and the power of memory here at Portraits that Move.  It is part of what drives our work with Portraits that Heal, and it is a key element of our mission at Portraits that Move to capture the fleeting moments of life so that we can look back in years to come and remember and enjoy our children as they are at this particular moment, in this particular time.

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Recently, we have been approached by friends and fans of our film work with children asking if we can look at their family through a slightly different lens.  More and more families have asked us to help document the unique and special bond between grandparents and children.  They are realizing, as we do, that time changes more than our children and our children's perspectives on the world around them.  

They want us to document their own parents and grandparents and the moments they share with their children.  These moments are invaluable.  They create and celebrate legacy and they are brimming with love.  

Our founder and executive producer, filmmaker Susannah Ludwig with her mom and her son.

Our founder and executive producer, filmmaker Susannah Ludwig with her mom and her son.

We have been privileged to film grandparents and great grandparents with their grandchildren and we have been inspired and motivated by the reactions from our clients when they watch the final products.  Parents view these videos with the same pride and wonder that they feel when they watch our Signature Portrait videos of their kids.  But there is something more that happens when they see their family coming together across generations.  There is a wave of nostalgia, there is a bittersweet realization that this now will not be forever.  There is an awareness of the history, wisdom and love shared from generation to generation.  And there is a deep gratitude, a certain kind of relief, that they have been able to mark this moment in time and they will be able to hold it, to return to it, and to treasure it forever.

We thank the families who have come to us to create legacy videos for them. We are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the grandparents and great grandparents and to share in how they  enrich the lives of their children.  They have enriched our lives as well.  Videos like these reinforce our mission and energize our work with children and families in ways we had not envisioned when we launched Portraits that Move two years ago.

Thank you for inviting us into your lives and allowing us to be part of your family history.

To learn more about grandparent videos or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.