Baron Batch’s Blog: Diary 27
Most of you know that over the past few months I have been extremely busy with football and getting ready for the NFL. All of you that know me also know that football is a small part of who I am. There has been another project that I have been tirelessly working on, and its time to unveil it! Its something that is very important to me and is designed to do something that I am passionate about and that is helping others! I have been working on my own non-profit organization over the past few months and it’s about time to let all of you join in on the awesomeness that is 2ndHandImages.
I would like to extend an invitation for you to attend the first ever 2ndHandImages live auction fundraising event taking place on Tuesday May 17th from 6pm to 9 pm at Greentree Country Club in Midland TX. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, music and a cash bar will be provided.
2ndHandImages is my Non-Profit Organization. We will be partnered with Operation H.O.P.E, which is a well established, non-profit organization based out of Lubbock Texas.
Immediately following my last collegiate football game at Texas Tech I joined Operation H.O.P.E on a mission trip to Haiti. My main purpose for going on the trip to Haiti was to photographically document the work that was being done by the team that Operation H.O.P.E sent. While we were in Haiti we partnered with New Vision Ministries, an orphanage founded and ran by an American family named the Reeves. I encourage you to find out more about the Reeve’s and the work they are doing in Haiti on New Vision’s blog at www.newvisionhaiti.blogspot.com
While I was in Haiti I witnessed poverty and illness that cannot be articulated by words and that photographs don’t do justice. One question I constantly asked myself while I was in Haiti was simply “why?” Why do these people have to suffer and die? Why do they lack the basic necessities to survive? Why do they not have shoes and clothes? Why can’t they receive medical attention or clean drinking water? I continually asked myself these countless “why” questions until God approached me with an even bigger question that would forever change my life. “What are you really doing to change what you see?” This was the question that God laid on my heart.
Part of me wanted to be deaf to that question because I knew giving an answer to it would call me to an action that would be life changing. At that specific moment in my life I realized how selfish I actually was. I realized I was a coward. It was a hard pill to swallow.
I came to the realization that just going to Haiti, hugging children, and taking pictures wasn’t enough. I decided that I could do something to help even if it was just changing one person’s circumstance. I knew this was something that I had to do because it is exactly what people have done for me. When I was a child and my family was too poor to afford groceries, people helped feed us. When my siblings and I didn’t have clothes to wear, people clothed us. When we didn’t have a home, people gave us one. When I felt alone, people poured out their love. So isn’t this what I should do for those that are in the same situation that I was in? I will never forget what I came from. I quickly realized that I was just like the people in Haiti. I was once in need of help, and someone graciously gave me their hand. It is my responsibility to do the same.
“What are you really doing to change what you see?” I decided I was ok with being called to an action that would be life changing. This is why 2ndHandImages was formed.
Having only my camera and a creative mind with me in Haiti I began brainstorming things that I could do to help. I began with enormous ideas that seemed overwhelming and impossible. I struggled with coming up with an idea that was feasible.
Thankfully God lit the light bulb above my head and gave me a simple but brilliant idea, and this is what it was, “Take a picture of the problem, show people the problem, and allow people to help fix the problem”
Lack of education is one of the largest problems in third world countries and Haiti is no different. During a conversation with Dr. Kerry Reeves an American optometrist who runs New Vision with his family, the orphanage we were partnered with in Haiti; an issue was brought up that I knew I had to help with. The Reeves sponsor 75 Haitian children for school each year. A sponsorship costs roughly 150 U.S dollars and consists of food, clean water, clothes, medical care, pays the teachers salaries, and of course a priceless education for the children.
The problem was that the Reeves had come across another 15-orphaned children living in a refugee tent village that they wanted to sponsor but it was outside the orphanage’s budget.
This is where 2ndHandImages initially began. My goal was to allow people to see first, act second and provide a direct and creative way for people to help others.
With my camera equipment and a translator, I went to the refugee tent city in which the orphans lived. My plan was to shoot a portrait of each child that needed to be sponsored. I ended up shooting 15 portraits that I would have printed on canvas and sold for 150 U.S dollars back in the States. With the images safely stowed away on my cameras memory card I headed back to the states where I edited them, canvased them, and put them up on an online gallery on my blog. Within 4 hours of posting my images online, every child had a sponsor and people were already inquiring about second and third generation prints. Right now 15 children are being clothed, fed, cared for, and taught in Haiti because of the generosity of people here in America. I was able to go past my initial goal of sponsoring just 15 kids, and partnered with Operation HOPE am in the process of paying for 1500 kids to go to school as well as the teacher’s salaries.
This is one of the many projects all over the world that I envision 2ndHandImages tackling. My goal is to find a need. Express the story and heart of the need through images, and easily allow people so join together to help others. 2ndHandImages goal is to Heal | Reveal | Create | and Inspire. A small group of extremely talented photographers as well as myself will travel to different locations creating awesome photos that will be purchasable and will support different causes just like the need for education in Haiti. If you want to view any of the photos that I took in Haiti go to my blog at baronbatch.blogspot.com and scroll down.
At our launch party/auction event on May 17th in Midland I will be auctioning off tons of my personal Texas Tech football memorabilia to raise support for 2ndHandImages as well as the work that I am continually doing in Haiti at the moment. Items that will be auctioned off will consist of my two senior game worn helmets, two different game worn jerseys from my senior year, game worn gloves, game worn cleats, several large canvased game photos courtesy of www.ttumedia.com, as well as various art taken on my last trip to Haiti and many other things. All items will be signed and personalized upon request.
Partnered with Operation HOPE we are a 501C3 tax-deductible non-profit organization. In the event that you are unable to attend our launch party/auction we would love for you to still donate if you feel called to do so. All checks can be made payable to Operation H.O.P.E, and in the memo write 2ndHandImages. We will be sure to get a receipt to you. All checks can be mailed to 4219 34th Street Lubbock, TX 79410. If you plan on attending the actual event you will need to RSVP by may 10 by calling (806) 549-4105 and if you have any other questions please call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to keep an eye out for our website that will be up in the coming weeks, just search 2ndHandImages.com!
There are many different places that I could have chose to have the 2ndHandImages launch party but decided on my hometown of Midland Texas because it is where I came from, and I’ll never forget it. It is where I was once needed help. Many of you that are reading this are the ones that provided for me. Its only fitting that Midland is where I start something that will help people just like me all over the world, people that just need a hand to grasp, people just like me that will eventually pay their gratitude forward to someone else. I look forward to seeing everyone May17th.