Paying It Forward

Surely, most of the time when you switch on the TV, surf the net or turn on the radio in the car, you are confronted with the suffering around the world. It is nothing new. Some of us may have just become numb to it. Simply overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the magnitude of the need. To the point that it leaves us feeling helpless and convinced that we can’t make a difference.

The truth is – we CAN make a difference! We don’t necessarily need to be world changers on a high platform on our way to receive our Noble Prize. We can work on a small scale within our communities or with projects abroad. If every single one of us invested our hearts, time and money in helping a few people in need, these numbers can multiply and that is how we can make a bigger difference.

I personally like to keep my eyes focused on that one life that I can impact. That already is a blessing for that one person. And by making a difference in that one person’s life, it certainly positively impacts the lives of the people around that person.

My husband and I use our photography business to pay it forward. And that simply means that we support causes that are dear to our hearts through our earnings and educating people about it. We have decided to support the same two organizations on a long-term basis in order to continually invest in the work that they do.

The Hamlin Project

Through the Colour Sisterhood 500 Project, since 2016, I have been offering photo shoots at a discounted rate to families and couples in my community (which is also a win for them, and I inform them about my project) to raise 500 euros. This money finances a surgery for a woman in Ethiopia suffering from obstretic fistula. I not only want to get the money together, but want to take the opportunity to educate people about the plite of these women and show that we can help them.
To learn more, click here.

NIA Joy Center

In Ethiopia, there unfortunately is not much support for autistic children. The Joy Center is a school specifically designed to educate and assist kids with autism. Since 2014, Tim and I have been financially supporting the school – they have been able to purchase new tables, chairs and learning tools for their students. They are now in the process of building a center where more children can be looked after and access to various forms of therapy e.g. speech therapy.
To learn more, click here.

You probably noticed commonalities in these two organizations. They are both based in Ethiopia (where I am from) and they both deal with families in need. That is where my heart lies and that is what motivates me to work harder in order to help people beyond my family.

I encourage you to find out which cause moves you deeply. It may be helping inner city kids get a better education, or helping refugees integrate better in the community…no matter what it is, never underestimate the level of positive influence you can have on another person’s life. Let your business and the dream that you are living not only be to your benefit, but allow it to be a blessing that over flows and waters dry plains leading them to bloom for years to come.

I invite you to share with me in which area you would love to make a difference by investing your heart, time and finances.

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This is such a great way to share how you’re offering your support and making an impact where you are. I love this – so inspiring!

Aida

Thank you so much RuthAnn. I just want people to know that there is always something we can do to help out in this world.

Wonderful to be able to give back the gift of time. It has to be so rewarding to be able to share your talents with others in this way.

Aida

I believe that each one of us have the ability to help others in need…it doesn’t always need to be financially, but can also be by volunteering our time.

Wow! Good for you guys. It’s awesome that you are able to support a place that you have such a connection to! I love when businesses do things like this!

Aida

Thanks, Sarah! Not only big businesses should be expected to give back…even small ones can make a positive impact. We are all in this together:)

Sarah

What an amazing way to share your talents.

Aida

Thank you!

That is so awesome what you do! I love supporting wonderful, beautiful people who choose to help others with what they do. I support Planned Parenthood and advocating women’s rights. I LOVE it. I love that my photography can go beyond a picture. And you are totally right about just changing ONE life. I feel like the way people receive news and how the media portrays the world nowadays, it’s really important to remember that the world is changed one person at a time.

Aida

Exactly! So glad that you are supporting a cause that means something to you!

melissa

So true – we can make such a difference by just helping those around us. These both sound like AMAZING causes. Thank you for sharing! And how awesome that they connect to you in such a personal way.

Aida

Thanks, Melissa. What my husband are doing is relatively small scale at the moment, but we plan to do more as our business grows.

This is such a creative and selfless way to help the world around you! It warms my heart to see others taking their talents and using them for the good of the world. Thank you for sharing!

Aida

And the great news is that we all have the ability to do something. We just need to get started and stay committed.

Alissa

This is so wonderful! That’s so great to share your talents!

Aida

Thanks, Alissa!

Stephanie Sugaski

So awesome you choose to give back! I love it!

Aida

We love it.

Alina

So inpsiring! How wonderful of you

Aida

So glad that you are inspired.

Eileen Broderick

Beautiful and inspiring post. I have to revisit my efforts in this area. I have donated to Operation Smile for years but would like to be more purposeful in my efforts to make a greater impact. This post is a welcome reminder. Thank you!

Aida

I just read about Operation Smile. They are doing AMAZING things! How great of you to continue supporting the work they are doing with children suffering from cleft lip. Thanks for sharing!

Alekandra

This was a good reminder that I don’t need to do something big to make a change.

Aida

Absolutely! Every life counts. Every life matters.

Ah so good to read something uplifting during this tumultuous time in current events! I absolutely believe in paying it forward, and love when you can share your talent with others for good. Thanks for sharing!

Aida

The media is mostly filled with negativity. There should be more focus on the good in this world in order to inspire people to get involved and make a difference in people’s lives.

Love that you’re doing this! Me I give back by volunteering for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/ Definitely not an easy job but really helps you to keep your own problems in life in check. I also sell the artwork I help my clients make and with each sale a donation is either made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Thank you for being the change you want to see : ) Keep up the hard but rewarding work!

Aida

I know about this organisation. It is so heartbreaking that anybody has to go through the loss of a baby. But what a beautiful gift to bless them with priceless memories. Thank you for being so kind with your time and talents!

Wow this is so wonderful!

Aida

I hope that this post inspired you to also give back in some way.

Brittany Slaughter

This is such a wonderful post, Its so important to give back!

Aida

Thank you so much, Brittany!

Sharee Davenport

This post is so inspiring. I love how you are paying it forward!

Aida

Thanks, Sharee.

I love that you are using your gifts to pay it forward! Keep up the good work!

Joy

This was so eloquent and appreciate the action steps so much. It seems that to me lately people are very interested in “dialog” and that’s good but action steps make a real co Crete difference!

Aida

Totally! And it is absolutely okay to start small.

Can I just say how absolutely excited and inspired I am bumping into your post! Love what your doing, and love your heart! I am a huge believer of the simple act of paying it forward and totally believe we can make a change one little ripple at a time. So much so I have actually brainstorming of ways to integrate a purposeful program within the brand. I’m the owner and creative director behind THEIT (feel free to check us out!) and most recently wanted to make our products and brand with more purpose- we’re not a big company yet… Read more »

Aida

Hey Nicole, I am so happy that you feel the same way. It is also in my heart to integrate “paying it forward” in my business and to inspire others to do the same. I am super excited to talk to you more about it. I will write you an email.

Time is something we sure can never get back. I remember this every time I look into my little boys eyes,