Supply the Love: Tanzania

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Supply the Love: Tanzania

Supply the Love: We supply the camera and film and you supply the love!  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Carli in Tanzania

In January of 2019 I settled into the beautiful town of Arusha, Tanzania which would be my new home for the next six months. 

I immediately saw immense beauty surrounding me — deep hues of green contrasted by a true blue sky, streets filled with people wearing colorful wraps and dresses, and a hazy dust that cleared with rainfall to reveal the wondrous backdrop of Mount Meru. What I didn’t know right then and there is how this environmental beauty would pale in comparison to the beauty I was soon to find in the humans that were now my neighbors. 

As a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse, I spent most of my time in the hospital working alongside nurses, doctors, mamas and their babies as we fought for the healing and growth of babies born prematurely or with life-threatening health conditions. The camera and film provided by Print the Love was a huge blessing at our first annual NICU Reunion party. This party provided an intentional space for celebration of the babies who had “graduated” from the NICU. 

The pictures we printed captured a memory of a very proud milestone for these families as we recognized the growth and healing that had taken place since these babies were first born and required some kind of NICU care. These parents were beyond excited to have a physical print they were able to take home with them and many even asked for a duplicate photo so each parent could have a copy to hold. 

What they say is true, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll wrap up my writing here and resort to the pictures included to illustrate the glow of happiness these parents felt as we provided prints of their families.

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Supply the Love: Guatemala

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Supply the Love: Guatemala

Supply the Love: We supply the camera and film and you supply the love!  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Nina in Guatamala

Just when you think you have it figured This Spring I was blessed to fulfill a calling to study abroad and live in Guatemala for 4 months. When I chose my program I had already known about Print the Love for a while, as Ceallaigh had been a mentor of mine at Bethel University. When she posted about the “Supply the Love” initiative it seemed like an instant fit, I had to apply! After all, I was coming into a community as a foreigner with, if I’m honest, little to offer other than a heart for learning Spanish and knowing their culture and people. One short week later I was having hundreds of pieces of undeveloped, potential-filled film hand-checked by airport security, on my way to Guatemala City!

A big part of our semester was the internships that I, and my 8 classmates, worked at in a small village in the mountains called Magdalena Milpas Altas. I worked at a school for students with special needs where we taught anything that met their needs, from potty training to sign language to math. Even cooler, though, was the opportunity to teach them the Gospel and remind them daily that they are capable, bright, beautiful, loved and worthy of being poured into. By the end of the semester with my students I could have written a book about everything they taught me and I was excited to return some of the love they had shared with me. Most of them had had their photo taken before, but few of them had ever had a picture of themselves. So we spent the last day of class taking pictures of each of them with their full-time teachers, treating it almost like their own little class yearbook.

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A couple of our internship sites, the special ed school and the women’s social work site, also hosted big Mother’s Day parties where we were able to feed the hard-working mamas and share our appreciation for them. The main event was taking photos of each mother, and making frames together to put them in. Their excitement and appreciation was priceless, many of them wore their best church clothes and dolled up for the “photoshoot”! It was really special for us to love on the women through these pictures.

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Another time we were able to give away photos was during home visits, where we got to talk to, play with, and pray for families in the village. One of the families I got to know pretty well was one with a deaf daughter, Gaby. She and her little brother had unlimited energy and were such a fun reminder to me of the universality of joy, smiles, and the preciousness of a family photo!

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Through the grace of God, and the generosity of Print the Love, my classmates and I were able to distribute hundreds of photos in the community we had grown to know and love so much. The richness of this experience is almost indescribable, but the word that explains it best for me is gratitude. Those photos were a token of the enormous gratitude we had for the acceptance, grace, and incredible love we had been given. My prayer was always that I would find a way to return it in some way and Print the Love gave us such a unique way to do that. My life, and the way I appreciate a simple photograph, were changed by my semester in Guatemala with those people and that little camera, and I will never have enough words to explain my thankfulness for the experience.

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Supply the Love: El Salvador

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Supply the Love: El Salvador

Supply the Love: We supply the camera and film and you supply the love!  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Sarah in El Salvador

Just when you think you have it figured out...

we are officially going to "save the world" it happens...

actually (in this case) it is the giving of the physical photo

that brings more joy than one can imagine...it's the interaction,

the "I see you" moment!

It's the "let the parade pass us by" as we stop and take a picture

of you, a one picture of this amazing person...a special interaction, be

it so brief but so special. It's the woman watching from her door, who

is not apart of what is walking by but now is looking over her

shoulder at her papa to let him know that something is...two people just

stopped to take my picture and then gave it to me! Receiving a gift of

me...my perfect smile!

Thank you for sharing this gift of giving with us!

We loved it so much!

Sarah



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Supply the Love: Arab Town

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Supply the Love: Arab Town

Supply the Love: We supply the camera and film and you supply the love!  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Katie in El Salvador, Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, Lea in Cambodia and more!

J in an Arab Town

We, my husband, me, and our three blond children, were driving to a little Arabic town where people are definitely not as wealthy as in the bigger cities. We drive there, just to be a little blessing for someone, handing them a little picture, to print a little bit of love!

We parked the car and walked up to the centre of the village. We didn’t need to go far to see a man outside together with his three children, working hard to get ready for winter. They were carrying big logs of wood up and down the tall stairs, so they would have some kind of heating during the cold winter months.

Our kids were spotted quickly by his kids, the blond faces are hard to miss. And that’s how we ended up chatting with them. The father looked tired, the frown above his eyes explained a lot. This poor family was carrying burdens.

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His eyes locked on the camera I was carrying, just as I was about to offer him a little gift, ‘Would you like me to take a picture of you and your children?’, I asked with the little bit of  Arabic I know. He smiled and told me ‘Yes, Yes’, and summoned our kids to be in the picture with his family.

As I took the picture, beautiful smiles appeared on all of their faces, which then quickly disappeared after taking it. The kids went back to work, having our kids there to help a bit. We were not invited in, which I could understand. Our kids had noticed hardly any furniture inside, and just some mattresses to sleep on the floor. This really was a poor family, trying to hold on with the things they did have.

After a few minutes the picture was cleared and I wrote a simple: ‘God loves you’, on the white edge of the Instax photo. As I held it out to him and told him it was a gift, he took it and then took at least 10 seconds to dive into the moment of that picture. A smiled appeared on his face, not hearing anything happening around him, locked into the moment. He had joy, probably for the first time in a good while. A smile! That’s all you need, just a blessing, just a little bit of love printed on a picture.

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Just then, the call to prayer started, they needed to get ready to walk up to the big mosque on top of the hill. As they were heading there, I was wondering if the words I wrote on the edge of the picture would still echo in his mind, God loves you. I hope, just by this little gift, that this Bigger Love would get more and more space into his heart. By remembering this moment we shared with him, that he would get to know his Creator.


Print the Love – powerful!

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Supply the Love: Albania

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Supply the Love: Albania

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Katie in El Salvador, Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, Lea in Cambodia and more!

Deb in Albania

A small group of us from northern Wisconsin headed out on a ‘Work and Witness’ trip to Albania.  We were all a bit nervous but excited about this adventure.  One mom and her daughters were going to meet a daughter’s pen pal that they had been helping to support.  Aida is a Roma child and in Albania the Roma population is discriminated against.  Avery met her pen pal and used the Polaroid camera to take pictures of her friends. 

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The second portion of the team went to Gurre, Albania to help repair a widow’s home and to develop a relationship with the congregation.  The home needed a great deal of repair, but our small group of men were able to tear out the ceiling that was falling down, tear down a wall and remove two windows.  They then repaired all the walls, put in new wiring, replaced her windows and put down cement for the floors.  After we left the locals continued to repair her roof and replace her ceiling and to tile her floors. 

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There was three of us that worked with the women of the congregation and formed a close bond.  They were very grateful for the work that was done on the widow’s home… they showered us with gifts of olive oil, embroidery, sweet treats, hand knit wool socks and duck eggs.  We made sure that each of the women got a picture of themselves thanks to Print the Love. 

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Supply the Love: Costa Rica

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Supply the Love: Costa Rica

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Katie in El Salvador, Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, Lea in Cambodia and more!

Ceallaigh in Costa Rica

Hi! I haven’t popped on here in awhile so I thought it was time to say hello to readers old and new!

I am Ceallaigh, pronounced Kelly (it is just the Gaelic spelling), the Founder and Executive Director of Print the Love. Thank you so much for coming along this journey with us! If you want to know more about how Print the Love started you can check out the story here. Also, feel free to email me anytime at ceallaigh@printthelove.org.

I just recently returned from Costa Rica with my family! Pura Vida! If you are headed there (or any of the other Print the Love trip locations), I am always happy to share any travel tips. I love that every country has an unique set of doing things. I highly recommend a visit to Costa Rica! There is so much to do and see. We stayed on the Caribbean side near Puerto Viejo and Punta Uva beach and rented a fabulous house through Airbnb.

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While we were there, it was my birthday! So of course I wanted to give away photos! I get a lot of questions about how to do that if you are on vacation. I always recommend you hire (please pay them well) a local translator (not a guide). We got our translator's name from the owner of the house we were staying at. Even if you can speak the language, it is best practice to work with someone who knows the unique culture of each region and people group. Giving away photos should be handled with sensitivity especially with children.

It is always an adventure with Print the Love work! As our family of 4 and translator, Mario, drove quite a ways into the jungle to a rural village we found ourselves on the wrong road (yay for 4 wheel drive!). Most roads in developing countries roads don't have street signs, and although we found a small school, it happened to be closed that day. This happens all the time! But thankfully another school was open and after getting permission from the director and teachers, the children were so excited to get their photos! My kids loved it! It was also a great chance for them to get away from just the touristy area and see what it would be like to go to school there. 

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And just because, here is a photo my husband took of an incredibly cute baby sloth in the sloth nursery at the Jaguar Rescue Center we visited. This little ones mom was electrocuted by an electricity poll. Local sloths are also injured by cars as they try to cross the road. The Jaguar Rescue Center rehabilitates them and places them back into the wild. They are also funding all the electricity polls in the area to be padded so the sloths do not continue to get electrocuted. What an incredible place doing amazing work for the wildlife in Costa Rica! 

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Supply the Love: Sierra Leone

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Supply the Love: Sierra Leone

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, Lea in Cambodia and more!

Josephine in Sierra Leone

Planning an overseas trip to Sierra Leone for group of nine took quite the effort.  The logistics of where to stay, how to get around and when to make time for all the wonderful things I wanted my family to experience was definitely an exercise in creative thinking and perseverance.  You see, this was the first trip home with the littles (ages 5, 8 and 10), with both my husband and sister in law and my mother and with only seven days, it was important that they get to see and experience all the things I love about my country, the people and the culture. It was important for them to better understand where we come from, who we are deeply and why we need to stay connected from afar. 

One amazing opportunity to do just that was to visit Queen of the Rosary School (QRS) in Bo, Sierra Leone. This beautiful, all girls’ school is my mom’s alma mater and the only quality education opportunity available to girls in the area. Student come from villages over four hours away and have to stay on campus during the school year to attend because of the lack of transportation options to visit home. On-campus boarding is one of the many needs school leadership continue to navigate and respond to ensure that girls have access and stay enrolled at QRS.  Girls in Sierra Leone face some of the worst life outcomes; including early marriages, early pregnancies, rape and abuse, and lack of financial independence.

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QRS provides a safe and supportive educational setting for girls to be just girls, to be students preparing for their future and to be themselves in a protected space. Our visit to QRS included a tour of the campus, a visit to a few classrooms where we got a beautiful presentation of the school song, and lunch provided by the school’s catering group, a social enterprise project where the older students cook delicious Sierra Leone’s cuisine while building up their culinary skills and creating a revenue stream for the school and for themselves.

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Chella and Audrey, had a blast capturing the beautiful smiles of the students and could have stayed on campus all day as photographers. The students did not shy away from group shots, individual portraits or capturing daily school activities and in many cases called the girls over with requests.  Watching the photo come to resolution was part of the excitement for both student and photographer and a great way of educating our girls about the value of the space and the education being provided to the students in the photo.

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My family is beyond grateful we were able to bring print the love along for our trip. The opportunity to engage and connect with others through photography allowed us to deepen our experience at the school and with the students. The gift of leaving the photos behind was the cherry on top. 

 Thank you for the opportunity,

Josephine

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Supply the Love: Fifty Times

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Supply the Love: Fifty Times

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, Lea in Cambodia and more!

Erika in Dominican Republic

Fifty times.

Fifty moments captured in time.

Fifty smiles frozen in a Polaroid photograph.

Fifty memories to be treasured for years to come.

After Christmas I traveled with a team to Dominican Republic to build a home for a family in difficult financial times. Print the Love accepted my request to bring along a Polaroid camera. This provided me a tremendous opportunity to share photographs in a poor community near Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Although this was not my first experience with Print the Love (I was in Guatemala last year), connecting with people by sharing photographs is a powerful one. In about 60 seconds, you can connect with others and give them a picture that develops before their eyes. Typically, it results in smiles, giggles, laughing, and joy. Then they find a friend, a newborn baby, or want a group photo with grandma. Immediately, they see the importance of capturing a photo in this moment and they are so very grateful. They wait in anticipation as the image appears like magic before their eyes.

Photographs are common in our American homes, some are printed on canvas, some are framed, and many are taken and saved on our cell phones or shared on social media. In poor communities, a photograph is not as common, and priorities are food, shelter, and sometimes survival. This is the foundation of Print the Love, the simple but meaningful gift of a photograph.

Children seem to be the most astonished by the Polaroid camera, they are curious and want to see what happens next.  A picture is personal. The smile creates a long-lasting sense of joy.

One thing I found when taking pictures was that many parents wanted me to take pictures of their babies. At first, I was a bit surprised, but think about the hope a newborn brings, the possibilities, the sweetness of a new baby. The physical changes that are happening daily are immense. A photograph stops time for just a moment. A chance to then look back and compare. It is a comforting feeling knowing that years from now families in Dominican Republic will study these pictures and it will help them remember their tiny bundles of joy.

Fifty times I asked if they would like their photograph taken and fifty times they said yes. Fifty snaps with the Polaroid, and fifty times the magic happened.

-About the author: Erika Moehring is in her first year at the College of St. Benedict where she is studying environmental biology. She enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and helping others in need. Her mother still treasures a photograph of her at the age of six, where she is sitting at wood wheel table coloring with a friend she made in Juarez, Mexico while helping build a home for her family.

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Supply the Love: El Salvador

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Supply the Love: El Salvador

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, Lea in Cambodia and more!

Katie in El Salvador

There are many reasons why I travel but the most impactful reason is the desire to understand
another way of life — to wander among the people, to taste the flavors, to immerse in an
experience that is completely unlike the one I have at home.


Two recent trips have allowed me to go even further beyond these experiences and to truly
immerse myself and engage in a way that I never thought possible. For the past two years I
have participated in week-long travel as part of a group called The WildHive. We are a group of
strong, energetic, open women who seek adventure through volunteer service and dance. The
group was formed by an energetic force — Mollie Krengel — who leads pop-up dance
experiences in the Twin Cities, “WildHives”, and who also runs a successful travel website
called “The Wild Bum”. She saw an opportunity to combine travel with wellness and service — a
way to give back to the community — and WildHive Service Adventures were born.


This February I participated in my second WildHive Service Adventure to El Salvador, joined by
26 other women, open to adventure and looking to make an impact. As a group, we had raised
money to make improvements to a local school. I was joining the experience not only as a
participant but as a photographer and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to apply for
Print the Love and add this work to our volunteer agenda.


Arriving at the school, our team was eager to work. We were in a very rural community and it
was clear that the school would benefit greatly from these dedicated funds and the labor hours
that we were excited to give. The students ranged from Kindergarten through 6th grade and
there were roughly four classrooms, although during our three dedicated volunteer days, that
number varied depending on whether teachers were able to make it in to teach each day.
For three days we worked hard — installing window treatments (keeping the rain and wind out
of the classrooms), cleaning and painting the bathrooms and kitchen, and hauling many many
MANY loads of dirt and rock in preparation of a new library to be built with the funds we raised.
Although we were only able to complete three days of volunteering, the construction crew has
since sent us pictures of the new plumbing (sinks, toilets included) in the bathroom and the
beautiful new library for all at the school to enjoy. While we were there to work, we also took
breaks and had many opportunities to bond with the kids through dance, soccer and other
games.


The final day we left time for celebration and our Print the Love volunteer work. The group was
so excited, as we had been taking pictures throughout but couldn’t wait to gift the children with
school pictures to take home to their parents. Gathering the kids in the classrooms and
demonstrating how the instant camera works was such a highlight. Each child took their turn in
front of the camera — some with huge smiles, others very serious and still others with deliberate
photo poses. The kids were so excited to see their picture develop and soon the classrooms
were filled with kids comparing pictures and giggling together. We also took pictures of the
teachers and a class photo. The teachers were thrilled to participate!


After all the school photos were complete, we were able to take many candids of our group and
the activities that were happening with construction, dance, soccer and new friendships. We
gifted these prints to the principal who was excited to put them up for everyone at the school to
share.


It’s hard to explain the joy that something as simple as gifting a print to someone can feel. As a
photographer I photograph people — families, businesses, children — all the time. Every
moment I capture feels impactful and part of a bigger whole but photographing on behalf of Print
the Love —having the experience of capturing a moment and standing with them as they see
their face appear, then gifting that memory to them instantly — has given me a whole new
meaning to my work and to the people we can impact every day.

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Supply the Love: Cambodia

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Supply the Love: Cambodia

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, and more!

Lea in Cambodia

To me, having the ability to make a person smile is one of the most satisfying experiences. This is the reason I chose to go into the dental profession, and why the opportunity to be a Print the Love Ambassador was so rewarding.

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As I began my journey in Cambodia, I brought my instant camera with me along the main river in Phnom Penh. I was shy and a bit nervous to walk up to strangers who spoke a completely foreign language. Luckily, my younger sister accompanied me and had the wonderful idea to take a picture of herself and show the locals how the camera worked with hand motions. With that we walked up to a family: a dad, mom, and five year old girl in a voluminous pink dress. We motioned to the camera, asking permission to take a photo of the little girl. When we delivered the instant image minutes later, the entire family had huge smiles on their face and at that instant my nervousness disappeared.

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Minutes later, we had ten children swarming around us for a photograph. One at a time they each got their frames and were in awe. They stared at them before skipping along to their parents and friends to show off their new treasure. My sister and I were having a blast, we enjoyed providing happiness to these children. We realized the impact that these photographs had when we walked back down the river thirty minutes later and the photographs were still being held tightly as a precious possession. As we walked past the kids again, they all yelled “HELLO” and waved their arms energetically.

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Although our target audience was children, we took frames of adults as well. One that stood out was an older lady selling fruits that noticed us taking pictures of children and tapped us on the shoulder to get in line. Without hesitation we were in position to take an image of her, and as we were walking up she applied lipstick and re-did her hair. After printing the photo, she examined the image with a beautiful bright smile and teary-eyed. This picture meant a lot to her.

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Through this opportunity we learned a lot about the culture and people of Cambodia. They are very trusting, and most people were eager for the attention. We also acquired a few words in Khmer including: hello, may we take your picture, and thank you. While taking pictures of the children, we counted 1, 2, 3 in Khmer. The kids laughed at our accent, and joined in with the count down!

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We also used this opportunity to make friends with other foreigners. We were asked many times what we were doing. With excitement and enthusiasm we shared with them Print the Love and the amazing impact that it is having on developing countries. While in Kampot, a small city on the coast, we met an older man who was taking a polaroid of a server in a café and handed her the film. We approached him and asked him what he was doing, and he explained that he enjoyed spreading smiles with the simple task of taking pictures. We began talking about Print the Love, sharing our experiences and promoting the organization. We are hoping that as ambassadors of this amazing organization we are able to spread the word about Print the Love.

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Overall, it has been a pleasure and honor to be a Print the Love ambassador. Not only did this experience allow my sister and me to influence a deserving population, we also took this opportunity to learn and grow. We will continue to highly recommend Print the Love and are looking forward to our next opportunity to serve as ambassadors again!

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Love to Cambodia

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Love to Cambodia

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Travelling is always an adventure and this trip was no exception! Our team of 7 - Rachel, Darcy, TJ, Kai, Mab, Jill, and Ceallaigh trekked all over Cambodia spreading photo love for 12 days! We have included some highlights here. We have SO many wonderful stories and memories that we would love to share with you! If you are interested in hearing more (because you are headed to Cambodia yourself and want some advice, interested in our work or going on a Print the Love trip, or something else!) let's set up a coffee date! In person or virtual! Email Ceallaigh at ceallaigh@printthelove.org.

Cambodia Trip Highlights:

  • Cambodia is an incredible country - in its people, culture, and natural landscape. 

  • We gave away over 2000 photos! Our first time giving by boat!  The joy of giving away photos is profound - both for the giver and the receiver.

  • We included protectors with each photo, thanks to a donation from UltraPro! So that the photos can last for generations!

  • In addition to the photos, we gave over 300 custom note cards to school children made by elementary students form Minnesota and Michigan with the message, "You matter!" written in Khmer.

  • We had 7 team members! Our biggest team yet and our first teenager joined the love. Everyone got along amazingly and no one got sick! Couldn't have asked for a better team. 

  • Over the 10 days on the ground we stayed in 5 different cities all over Cambodia - Phnom Penh, Floating Village on Tonle Lake, Siem Reap, Banteay Chhmar, and Battambang. We stayed at a hotel, Airbnb, guesthouse, homestay, and in bamboo bungalows. We meet such wonderful people at each location. 

  • We traveled in dozens of tuk tuks and taxis, flew in 6 airplanes (no delays!), survived the bamboo train, saw millions of bats, enjoyed the sunrise at Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, and learned how to harvest rice, which we ate a lot of!

  • We gave away photos to neighborhoods, villages, markets, a city park, a health clinic, and many many schools.  

  • Our 7 different translators were awesome! They contributed to our mission is remarkable ways and some participated in giving away photos. If you are in Battambang, Bun is a great guide!

  • And a HUGE thank you to all our amazing donors who helped make this trip happen!

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Supply the Love: Haiti

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Supply the Love: Haiti

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Sharon in Haiti

I enjoy taking pictures, and appreciate having the memories of family, events and nature. So when I saw an article in the paper about Print the Love and an opportunity to provide an instant picture to people in an impoverished country, I was pretty excited.  At that time, I was planning to travel to Haiti on a medical mission trip with people from my church, Cross of Glory Baptist in Hopkins.  Therefore, I applied to Print the Love and was very happy to be accepted.  

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The medical check-ups were performed for children that were part of a program in which sponsors provide money that send children to school and help care for their physical, spiritual and emotional needs.  There were 14 of us comprised of doctors, nurses and support people (like me) from the US and Canada. 

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In addition to the check-ups, we had a Bible school program with stories, singing, crafts, and, for the first time, a picture taking station.  I found a nice place to take the pictures just outside the church we were in, and we added a sticker that said, “Jezi renmen ou” or “Jesus loves you”. The children were very excited to get their picture taken, and throughout the day we could see the children looking at their picture time and time again.

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The church was next to an orphanage, so we had several children checking out what was going on.   This initially put me into a difficult situation, because I did not have permission to take pictures of the children from the orphanage.  Fortunately, before the end of the day I was able to get permission to take their pictures, too.  Word spread quickly, and the kids just kept coming!  This was definitely a bonus to be able to share this gift with even more children.  

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Then something else unexpected happened. That day we had about eight translators for our group.  One of them came over to me and timidly asked if he could have his picture taken.  I said, “Of course”!  I realized very quickly that this was very important to him.  He stood so proud as he posed for the picture.  This led to all the translators getting their pictures taken.  Some of them were quiet and proud, others were somewhat giddy.  All were very appreciative. 

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For me, someone who has probably had hundreds of pictures taken of me over the years, it made me pause to appreciate the joy a picture can bring to someone’s life.  Thank you to Print the Love for making this an option to people around the world.

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Supply the Love: Israel

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Supply the Love: Israel

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Laura in Israel

A small team from Rebecca Bender Initiative (www.rebeccabender.org) traveled to Israel to support another organization like ours called The Red Carpet that fights human sex trafficking and supports survivors.

The Red Carpet, located in a garbage- and needle-laden alley within the “red light” district of Tel Aviv, is a place for reprieve for prostitutes—many of whom have been trafficked from surrounding countries and the former Soviet Union—who now have no family or support system. Everyone who comes to the Red Carpet Center may receive nail treatment, a pedicure, hair treatment, medical supplies, hygiene products, and food.  They also find a comfortable place to rest, take part in art therapy, take a warm shower, and receive clean clothes.

But one thing they had never before received at Red Carpet was a photo of themselves that they could keep. In many cases, the photo they were most excited to receive was one taken with someone they had come to love at the Red Carpet Center. The greatest gift was to receive a photo of themselves with someone who had really seen them as a human being that is worthy of love; someone who sees them as beautiful, and valuable to their core rather than as simply a body to be bought and sold. For a number of clients, this was the photo they seemed to cherish most!

To maintain the privacy of the survivors, we have posted only photos of the Center and not any photos that depict the faces of clients that utilize it.  Nonetheless, I can attest to the deep joy and impact that was felt by each and every survivor who got to keep their photos. In fact, the founder of Red Carpet said:

“I don’t have enough words to thank you for this. This day with the camera was one of the highlights in the Red Carpet.”

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Interview with Sarah Hartley, Creator of Holl & Lane Magazine

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Interview with Sarah Hartley, Creator of Holl & Lane Magazine

By Rachel Werch

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We are so excited to share with you that our founder, Ceallaigh Anderson Smart, is a featured contributor talking about Print the Love in Holl & Lane Magazine’s Impact Issue that is now available! This special issue is dedicated to stories that measure the action and influence of our lives. You can purchase it in digital and print format at hollandlanemag.com.

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Holl & Lane is a quarterly women’s inspirational lifestyle magazine, created as a place to allow women to share their truths! Real stories from real women. It was started in 2015 by the incredible, talented, and inspiring Sarah Hartley - “This is a revolution to show women, you are perfect as you are and there are other women just like you who have been standing right where you feel you are right now.”

Since Sarah, Editor in Chief, is always working to create a beautiful space for telling other women’s stories, we wanted to ask her about her story! She graciously accepted and shared with us some of her truths!

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1. What is your spirit animal and why?

Sarah: A dolphin! I love that they always seem free, like they're having fun, but they're still super powerful.

2. How did you get started with your career and how did you get to where you are now?

Sarah: I started the magazine back in 2015 after a miserable pregnancy.  I felt like I wasn't allowed to talk about how hard it was, or how much I hated it because the media always made me feel like it was going to be this magical time in my life.  So through that experience, I felt like there had to be other stories out there that women felt they weren't allowed to share.  And that is where the idea for Holl & Lane came from.  I wanted to create a magazine that women felt like would be a safe space to share what they were really going through.  Throughout the last three and a half years, I've shared stories from over 500 women and have made it our mission to be a haven for women looking for a supportive community.

3. Where are your passions born from?

Sarah: My passion comes from storytelling.  I believe that everyone has a story, that there has been a distinct and important journey that created who they are today, and I think it's important to share those.  Not only is it great to be able to tell your truth, but it's also amazing to help other women feel less alone when they experience the same types of things.  Plus, I just believe it's important to have more realistic media in the world - not everyone leads an Instagram-perfect life, and I think it's okay to talk about that.

4. What is the best part about your work?

Sarah: Being able to offer a safe space for women.  We have so many women come to our community to talk about the hard things they're going through or to ask for advice.  And I love being able to give women space to feel safe to do that because they know they won't be judged by anyone.  So often, women talk about things in our group that they've never shared with anyone.  And that is very humbling to me.

5. Do you have any tips for people who are juggling a family and a career? 


Sarah: There will never be a balance.  Some days you're going to feel like you rocked your career - but your family life might suffer.  Other days you might feel like you were an amazing mom, but you didn't get any work done.  Don't beat yourself up about that.  Life is hard when you're trying to put your energy into both.  But I try to always be present no matter what I'm doing.  So, if I'm going to be working, I want to focus and really get things done.  If I'm going to be with my kids, I'm going to ignore my work for a bit.  That way, both things are getting my full attention. I'm not always great at this, but I'm working on it.

6. Is there anything else you wanted our readers to know? 

Sarah: Our brand new issue all about IMPACT is now available!  This one has 27 stories of what impact has meant to women throughout their lives.  It's 96 beautiful pages of powerful, incredible stories.  I'm so proud of this one.  We offer it in print and digital on our website: hollandlanemag.com  And if you want to check us out before you buy, we offer a FREE mini issue that can be snagged at hollandlanemag.com/signup.

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Thank you so much for sharing your wise words with us, Sarah! Keep up your amazing work! It is SO important!!

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Supply the Love: Puerto Rico

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Supply the Love: Puerto Rico

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

GracePoint Sr. High had the privilege of partnering with Print the Love this summer on our mission trip to Puerto Rico. Our team of 19 spent nine days traveling and serving in the north-central region of the island. We partnered with schools, churches, and local community groups to bring hope and help to an island still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria a year ago this fall.

 Print the Love greatly expanded our efforts, enabling us to bring joy wherever we traveled. When we arrived in Puerto Rico, we spent our first two days in the north-eastern part of the island near the small beach town of Luquillo. We met a lady named Michelle there who showed us around, and even led us to her favorite swimming spot in El Yunqué, the nearby tropical rainforest. We were able to take her photo and share many photos with families visiting the rainforest that day.

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There is something intriguing and barrier-breaking about the simple act of taking and giving someone their picture. People who were initially nervous towards our group quickly warmed up to us as we began sharing Polaroid pictures. Although there was a language barrier in some cases, we were able to speak the universal language of photography, as people communicated deep appreciation for us capturing a special memory for their family.

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We spent most of the week in the city of Arecibo, where we visited elderly care facilities, schools for abused children, farms, churches, and even a greenhouse. In these settings, we were able to not only aid in rebuilding efforts, but also offer community members a tangible memento of our visit. People were so appreciative of the photos that they put extra effort into making the backdrops perfect. For example, one of the farmers led his bulls out from their pens and marched them over to make sure they were included in the photo.

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We were the last of 8 groups to serve in the city that summer, which meant our week included a lot of emotional goodbyes between our Site Directors and their community partners. Print the Love enabled us to capture pictures of these special relationships, that our leaders had been too busy serving to be able to capture. We were told later how special it was to finally have something to remember these brothers and sisters by.

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 We ended our trip in and around San Juan, and were able to give many pictures to food vendors and street artisans whose efforts are rebuilding the economic health of the island. For example, an older man selling shaved ice outside the historic El Morro fort was delighted to receive a photo of himself and his ice cart and proudly displayed it.

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What began as a simple kind gesture in some cases blossomed into deep friendships. I took a photo of Nestor and his friends early in the week, which led to many more conversations. I heard what it was like for him and his family the hours, days, and weeks following the hurricane. By the end of the week, he joined our group traveling to San Juan and spent the weekend making memories with us and showing us around old San Juan.

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We can’t thank Print the Love enough for the opportunity to bless the people of Puerto Rico!

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Supply the Love: Kenya

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Supply the Love: Kenya

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Allison in Kenya

Our journey in to rural Kenya was exciting, challenging, tiring and inspiring. Over the course of our stay at Daylight Center and School in Kapenguria, Kenya we worked in classrooms, made reusable sanitary pads, lead after school games and were able to take (and give) 100 Polaroids to our Kenyan partners. The Polaroids we shot captured our partnership with the teachers and staff - of us working together in the classroom, of us playing together on the field and of us just being together in fun afternoon photo shoot. Being able to do fun photos with our new friends and give a print was a positive enhancement to the work we did together at the school.

Thank you to Print The Love for creating and providing this kind of opportunity!

 

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Teachers posing as we took a photo of them with the Polaroid. This was at the end of an especially meaningful co-lead church service and having the Polaroid involved at the end when we all had our cameras and phone cameras out was an incredible addition.
 

Changing the film Kenya

Changing out the film! We were having so much fun snapping photos - I think we did two and half cartridges just that afternoon! Even the most reserved of us were having a great time laughing, posing and shooting photos!

 

Former headmaster Kenya

James, the former Headmaster of the school came by to visit, travelling quite a distance to be there. My daughter and I (in the photo with James) have worked with him on previous visits so it felt particularly meaningful to have a photo taken with him that we all shared. He was excited to go home and show his wife who he had travelled to see.

Afternoon photo shoot!! There’s something special about the energy that develops when a bunch of people are just having spontaneous fun - no agenda and no plan. This was one of the days where we all connected through a common joy in posing and laughing together.
 

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Supply the Love: Haiti

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Supply the Love: Haiti

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Cindy in Haiti

I had the opportunity to go to Haiti in July for a Summer School Camp put on by Community Coalition for Haiti.  This was my second trip down to Haiti, my first one was through my church Bloomington Evergreen Church.  As I was getting ready for my trip I came across a Facebook post about an organization called Print the Love.  I grew up with a family that took TONS of pictures.  When I read about their mission to “promote hope, love, and encouragement by uplifting others, helping them to see the beauty in themselves regardless of their circumstances by giving them a picture”, I knew I had to apply for a camera.  To my delight, my application was accepted and off to Haiti I went with a Polaroid camera and packs of film.  Below are just a few of the experiences that I had while I was there.
 

This is my dear friend Junior (blue shirt) and his beautiful family (uncle, mother, sister and niece).  Junior’s mother was so thrilled to have a picture of her family.  They are currently building a cinder block home and she wanted to find a safe place for the picture so she could put it up in their new house when it’s finished being built.
 

This is Ladine and her mother Bryenne.  Watching their facial expressions as the picture started to appear was the greatest thing.  Bryenne kept flipping the picture over trying to figure out where the image was coming from.  It was wonderful.

We came across this group of young men in the village of Chabin, that were getting ready to have a soccer match.  They put together this tournament during the week of the World Cup.  At first, none of them wanted their picture taken.  I finally talked one of the teams into taking a team picture and when they saw the picture develop right before their eyes, it was game on with picture taking.  We did team pictures, individual pictures, they even started posing.  It was amazing!  I also learned that they don’t like to smile in pictures.  “It’s not professional” is what I was told. Love it!

Haiti has a complex, rich, fascinating, and tumultuous culture and history with stories of resistance, revolt, and instability. But one of the fundamental aspects of Haiti and its people is their resilience. In spite of slavery, multiple coups, various occupations and militarization, and natural disasters, Haiti continuously fights to remain strong.  I love this country and the people who call it home.  My heart will always be with Haiti!

Supply the Love Haiti

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5 Ways to Show More Kindness

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5 Ways to Show More Kindness

Volunteering for a non-profit like Print The Love is a great way to show kindness, but what if you’re not currently volunteering? Here are 5 ways that you can show more kindness in your everyday life.

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