Category Archives: service

THE EUGENE MISSION + THANKFULNESS

My wife is participating in the “thankful every day for one thing” thing on Facebook, along with half of my feed. I really don’t get into those sorts of things to save myself from failure due to inconsistency. So… I thought I would post something I’m thankful for, and to maybe prompt you to consider how much there is to be thankful for in your own life. The odds are you’re reading this from your smartphone, or over high speed internet, in your comfy sweats, with a roof over your head and clean water. That alone is something to be appreciated when you look around the world. Or your own town. “I’ve only got one other picture of me, and it’s from my mugshot… and it’s not pretty!” Comments like that prove how much can be done by something as simple as photographing someone and giving it back to them. Insert Help-Portrait plug here 🙂

The Eugene Mission quietly serves thousands of people without housing by providing meals, shelter, dry socks and clothing, haircuts, school supplies for the kids, as well as, emotional and spiritual food. They have a new website they worked very hard on in hopes that it will broaden the audience who hears about what they do, and potentially increase giving. They have also realized that many people who find themselves homeless research places to stay by looking online using public computers in the community libraries, and without a legitimate web presence, the staff cannot serve folks who don’t know the Eugene Mission exists.

Consider finding a rescue Mission, or a food bank, or whatever service you prefer to support this Thanksgiving. My one thing I am thankful for is the fact that I have been given to, and can give to others.

No guilt trips. Just stories.

“I’m not very photogenic… but you can try!”

“Me and some other guys are just waiting until we can retire. If we make it.”

“The safety The Mission gives us can’t be any more important than it is… the streets are dangerous. I don’t care much about the spiritual stuff they give here, but I see why some people need it. Maybe I need it.”

“I used to take pictures, I had a camera… yeah man, it was nice until someone stole it.”

www.eugenemission.org

“When I couldn’t walk upstairs anymore, I realized how important it was that the Mission had beds downstairs for people like me. That was real nice.”

“Yes, you can take my picture, I have no nice ones at all… or any. [laughter]”

“It’s a blessing to be here among these brothers. I’ve made my own mistakes, I have my own forgiveness.”

“They’ve been real nice here, and that isn’t always the case…”

“Yeah, we’re friends… and that over there is a LOT of newspaper! [laughs]”

Since 1956

Services Provided in 2010 Total per Year
Meals 187,454
Beds 102,431
Guest Chapel Attendees (p.m.) 67,700
Program Chapel Attendees (a.m.) 18,512
Daytime Men’s Bible Study Attendees 931
Training Program Members Average per Day 120

“It’s not about any one man, but about the mission.”

Being content, and learning “not to want” has little to nothing to do with having everything you desire.


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  • cam - amazing work, really amazing…

  • ryan flynn - this is fantastic, jay. the photos, but especially what the photos are about.

  • tim coulson - really beautiful. on all accounts.

  • J marsh - Bro. This is was photography is for. Thanks for doing something meaningful and keeping this industry in perspective. Excellent post

  • Vanessa - Beautiful work, J! Thanks for the lovely shots of all these people and for some wonderful perspective. Happy thanksgiving!

  • Rachel - Thanks for doing this. I support the Rescue Mission here in Portland, there are some really great people on board bringing services to some of the disenfranchised here in the city.

  • Lucie Zeka - Beautiful work!!!

Jeremy Cowart + Help Portrait

Jeremy Cowart is helping to launch a photographic movement of benevolence and compassion.  Those are big words.  This is a big deal.  I know I am just an aspiring, struggling part-time photographer with little influence in the way of a following, but I am not going to let that stop me from doing my part.  Watch the video.  Think about it.

http://www.help-portrait.com

http://www.twitter.com/help_portrait

This is something on my heart for quite some time… if you are a photographer, makeup artist, hairstylist, videographer, printing lab, or anyone who feels they have something to offer in this gracious endeavor, please consider it.  And as Jeremy said, this is not about you or your portfolio, it’s about serving others for the sake of serving.

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  • Kate Monroe - This is fantastic. I’ve been wanting to sign up for OpLove because I’m always in awe of families that are willing to give up their father/husband/wife/mother for their country.

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