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.”

“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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  • camamazing work, really amazing…

  • ryan flynnthis is fantastic, jay. the photos, but especially what the photos are about.

  • tim coulsonreally beautiful. on all accounts.

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

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

  • RachelThanks 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 ZekaBeautiful work!!!


Go do something kind for someone who doesn't expect it.