Adrian Tan of Singapore shared this message from one of the volunteers, Lynne Solomon, at their Help-Portrait event in December 2011:

I met someone. Pretty special guy. At the end of our photo session, he took my hand to “salaam”, kissed it and with the most beautiful pair of innocent eyes, looked at me gratefully and said “Thank you”. He is 9 years old. He has leukemia. And he lives in a shelter with his mom.

I met a young lady in her 20s. Beautiful, beautiful face. It turns out that the …1st time she ever had her face and hair beautifully made up was for her wedding day a few years ago. It was the happiest day of her young life. Yesterday was the 2nd time she ever had her face and hair done up so beautifully again. Only this time, she had it done in a shelter for battered women.

I met a man in his 50s. He made a mistake 27 years ago and was put away. While i took his name and prepared him for the photo shoot, he shook my hand so tight and with such gratefulness said to me “Thank you, God bless you”. It was a struggle because he doesn’t speak English. And, it was a struggle for me too as i tried not tear.

Yes. I cried a lot yesterday. Not because I was sad. I met many people yesterday whose story touched me. I cried tears of happiness, of thankfulness, of gratitude. Most of all, I cried because there is HOPE and I have so much to be thankful for.