Paying it forward through pictures | News
CHAFFEE, MO (KFVS)- It's a story of finding light in the midst of darkness and incredible loss.
After the Sandy Hook shootings, one parent shared how he found peace through the photos of his lost daughter - Olivia.
From there the Olivia Act began. A photographer in Texas started giving away sessions to deserving families. The trend spread worldwide.
This act of giving even made its way to two young photographers in the Heartland.
Teenage photographers' Victoria and Abby Wall of Photography by Abigayle heard about the Olivia Act and decided to keep this kindness going.
Through their facebook page, they took nominations from the community to find a deserving Heartland family. They chose Jeff Garland and his three children, an Advance family.
The Garland family was nominated through a letter from a woman who wrote: "Every minute he is not at work he is either attending an event involving his children, or just at home spending time with them. I know he works very hard … this would be such a great surprise for the entire family."
For Garland and his children, it turned out to be a day like no other.
"It was very surprising to see all the benevolence comes from different directions," said Garland.
"Makes me felt all warm and fuzzy inside," said Victoria.
"We can help people we use our skills," said Abby added.
As it turned out, when other businesses heard about the girls decision to pay it forward they wanted to help too. A Simply Different Salon donated haircuts, Kids Bazaar of Cape Girardeau donated outfits, Marcy's Planet shoes provided new footwear, Bagger Dave's offered lunch, and Wehrenberg Theaters in Cape Girardeau gave the family movie passes. Those are just a few of the local businesses that pitched in to help.
"Out of the kindness of their heart they chose to take time out and do something good for the community," said Garland.
"A small thing can make a huge difference and the more people that get involved to help the bigger it can get," said Crissy Mayberry of Kids Bazaar.
"It's always good because one good deed leads to another pass it on," said Carrie Grojean of Marcy's Planet Shoe.
The business owners and managers say they were inspired by the teenagers' desire to give back.
"I hope it teaches other people to give of themselves because it would make the world a better place," said Karrie Rinehart of A Simply Different Salon.
"A young person giving back is a wonderful thing," said Bill Zellmer of Bagger Dave's. "We couldn't say yes fast enough."
Abby And Victoria's mother says this proves giving back is contagious. She says she's proud to raise two daughters with such big hearts.
"There really are a lot of good people in the world," said Regina Wall. "We hear a lot about the bad this is a good story."
The girls hope the Garland Family Portraits inspire not just a thousand words, but a thousand random acts of kindness.
"Any little thing is never too small whenever you're helping somebody," said Victoria.
The girls say this will just be the beginning of their efforts to give back, and they hope others do the same.
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