“We discovered that one of our beauty technicians (volunteering from a local technical college) participated in Help-Portrait last year as a subject when she was a resident in the shelter where our event took place. She has now been living in her own apartment for almost a year and was excited to give back to the Rescue Mission and to be a part of Help-Portrait as a volunteer.” -Leah Gardner, Roanoke, VA, US

Sam Knapp, who photographed Linda (pictured above), also shared: “I am not sure that anything I could write would express what Help-Portrait seems to mean for the guests we photograph or what it has become for me. When I saw Linda this year, and realized that she was a guest to last year’s event and giving this year’s event, I couldn’t stop the tears from coming to my eyes.

“I never would have believed what a difference such a simple act could make in the life of someone in need. The two Help-Portrait events I have participated in, and people like Linda have helped me shed some of the silly preconceptions I previously had.”