Pictures Of Hope returns for second year

Program allows SAMM­inistries children to become phot­ojournalis­ts for one day

SAN ANTONIO - A group of local homeless children armed with cameras are ready to hit the streets in search of visualizing their hopes and dreams, thanks to "Pictures Of Hope."

The program was created by award-winning photojournalist Linda Solomon, who launched the program last year nationwide, and returned this year with the help of sponsor Chevrolet Motors.

On Monday, 15 children from SAMMinistries, a homeless shelter, received their gear and began their lists of wishes that they plan to bring to film. Among the most popular item being hoped for is a home.

Gabriella, 8, is on her second extended stay at the shelter with her family. She plans to find ways of visualizing fun and dancing, two things she says she wants in her future. When asked if it's been tough, Gabriella said, "We're going to be here ... long until after Christmas."

Gage, Gabriella's brother, took his first picture in advance of Saturday's day of shooting. While at the news conference Monday, he took a picture of the exit sign flashing on the wall.

"I wanna leave this place, get a house for my little sister, my mom, my cousin and my stepdad," Gage said.

Solomon has launched "Pictures of Hope" in 25 U.S. cities.

"It's heartfelt to open their hearts, to express what they truly are hoping for in life," she said. "And when you can visualize it, it puts you on the path to achieve it."

Some of the childrens' hope lists included "getting enough sleep" and "my dad to be good." Almost every list asked to be able to live in their own home with all their family members.

On Saturday, three busloads will scatter across San Antonio to give the children venues to shoot their pictures, which will eventually end up in a photo exhibit. The pictures will then be reproduced on holiday cards and sold to the public. SAMMinistries will receive all the proceeds from the sales.

To view a list of recent stories Ursula Pari has done, click here.


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