What makes a leader? I view leaders as strong, confident people to whom the answers naturally come. People who walk with their heads high, posture stiff and a no bullshit attitude. Leaders are willing to do what they feel necessary even in tough situations.
Leader is not a word I’m comfortable with being. My natural tendency does not gravitate toward the traits of a leader. Being the center of attention makes me squirm. I’ve always felt more comfortable & effective in a supportive role. The consummate team player.
Last month, however, I found myself in the position of planning an event & leading a group of people ready and willing to help those in need. While wildly outside my comfort zone, the job felt necessary and the cause is one I’m passionate about.
Help-Portrait is a worldwide movement of photographers, volunteers, hair and makeup artists, and creative‘s who give their talent, time & supplies to gift people who may not otherwise have a chance to get professional photographs just that. This year, our organization blessed active military & veterans with free sessions & prints, working mainly with Wounded Warrior Project.
There was no wondering if our volunteer teams could handle the job, it was a given. Many are veterans of our event, going back to the first one held in Minneapolis 9 years ago. The kindness and compassion the volunteers showed to those we served is tenfold. Meaningful conversations and hugs were had between people who were complete strangers minutes before. Each year, I’m in awe of the caliber of volunteers our event attracts.
This year and for the past 3, I’ve taken the role of point-person for any fires that arose. I hopped around, checking in with our bay teams, chatting with the families and making bunny ears behind our photographers to get the children to laugh. I love this role because it gives me the opportunity to see the big picture of our event and how truly special all of our volunteers and families are.
For more information on Help-Portrait or its founder, Jeremy Cowart, visit the website HERE. If you are interested in helping the local MN chapter next year, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the event featured on a local new station, click HERE.
If you are an organization who’d love to partner with our local chapter of Help-Portrait, please email me at email@example.com.