This holiday season promises to be full of smiles for some of Buffalo’s most deserving families.
Jeremy Cooper, creative director at Wesleyan Church of Hamburg in Hamburg, N.Y., helped launch the Buffalo chapter of Help-Portrait in 2016.
Help-Portrait is a national organization that empowers creatives to go out into their communities and serve people with free portraits. Last year, approximately 200 people, many refugee families from community organizations and ministries, received beautiful portraits as a free gift.
Although not an official organized event through Wesleyan Church of Hamburg, the support of the church has been phenomenal and the church has played a key role, according to Cooper. Last year, around 90 volunteers from Wesleyan Church of Hamburg and others from the community donated their time and resources to make Help-Portrait Buffalo happen. A leadership team of seven individuals is overseeing various event elements.
“Help-Portrait Buffalo is more than just a day about taking portraits,” said Cooper. “We exist to build relationships, love people and provide hope. We define the success of this event by how many people leave with a new sense of hope. Buffalo is the City of Good Neighbors, and we’re here to make Buffalo proud!”
This year’s event will take place December 16. The event host will be Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where volunteers will serve cancer patients and their families with free, printed and framed portraits. Part of the experience also includes having hair and makeup done by volunteers. Help-Portrait Buffalo will also welcome in surrounding community organizations that day.
“With Roswell Park being our event host, our potential impact could be greater than 500 people this year,” said Cooper.