Volume 2, Published April 16, 2018 *|MC:SUBJECT|*

Volume 2: April 16, 2018
 

Dear Friends,

I enter each new classroom eager to learn what images the children will capture and to discover their thoughts and feelings from the writings they develop in “Snapshots of Joy.” The best way to convey my excitement is to share a sampling of work created by "Snapshots" alumni since FOV’s inception in 2015:

Ode to the Monkey Bars
I picked this picture because I like monkey bars. I like swinging around and I’m pretty acrobatic. They’re pretty great. 
Don Age 10

 

I took this picture because I love pigs. Pigs bring me joy because they are fat. I took this picture at a zoo.
 
Finn Grade 3


 
I absolutely love this picture because I love how there are many dark trees and the light just reminds me of glory and happiness. I love how there are many beautiful colors and how they all go together like puzzle pieces. When I look at the sun and the snow it gives me the message to follow my dreams.
 
Eesha Grade 3
 
This picture reminds me of peace because nature is also a part of peace. It is a picture of Massapoag Lake, trees, and sunrise. My favorite part of the picture is the sunrise because it is mixed with a lot of colors.

Neil Grade 3 

 
These images illustrate the work that has been made possible by gifts from our ever-increasing supporters: people who believe children benefit from self-discovery through self-expression, by creating art, and writing their thoughts and feelings about their work. Our program uses disposable cameras which slows things down for the children, allows them time to develop patience through process, harness expectations, and pause and see what is right in front of them.
 
We focus on joy, actively developing a mindset that encourages reflection, bringing good feeling and happiness to the forefront. The children who participate in our program begin to find the confidence and internal fortitude to choose grace, kindness, and compassion as they lead their lives.
 
As an organization, FOV's Board of Directors has committed to developing a professional, sustainable organization. Exciting first steps toward recognizing that goal are being taken as we plan to hire our first employee late this spring. To those who simply believe in our mission, and to the many donors who commit their valuable assets to promoting our work, thank you!
 
Warmly, 
Ann V. Beach
Founder and Executive Director
 
P.S. An independent source offers further confirmation of the transformative power of "Snapshots of Joy." Learn more about how photography can help cultivate mindfulness in elementary school classrooms in Greater Good Magazine.
FOV by the Numbers
In 2017, two new fundraising initiatives helped fuel this growth and positioned us well for 2018. They are:
  • The Inaugural Victoria Ann McManus Memorial Golf Tournament held on September 25, 2017, and raised more than $26,000
    • Thank you to all who made contributions to our silent auction – and to all who bid so generously
  • The Cocktail Party in remembrance of Victoria’s 30th Birthday on September 29, 2017, and raised $42,000                                              
 

While most gifts to FOV came from individuals in 2017, one unsolicited and very moving gift came from ARS Restoration Specialists at their Holiday Party. Rich Piltch, company founder and owner, explains:
"In 2017, ARS created a program to give emerging not-for-profits a one-time $25,000 gift. ARS was inspired to create this program by the work being done at Finding One’s Voice and was honored to select FOV as its inaugural recipient.  With a three-year track record of reaching more children with its well-designed "Snapshots of Joy" program which helps children tap into their inner feelings through joy, ARS is pleased to support FOV."
 

Future Plans and Goals
In our last Newsletter we shared these goals:
  • Enroll 600 children in “Snapshots of Joy” in 2018 – an ambitious goal, one we promise to work hard toward making a reality as we move forward
  • Hire a part-time assistant in 2018 – we will be hiring a full-time Teaching and Administrative Associate. Target start date is May 1, 2018
  • Raise $100,000 in 2018 – we did it in 2017, and we hope to do it again in 2018! Plans include:
    • Launch the inaugural FOV Day of Giving with a goal of raising $40,000
      • May 14: A Day of Reflection and Remembrance, A Day of Hope and Giving 
    • Hold the 2nd Annual Victoria Ann McManus Memorial Golf Tournament with a goal of raising $30,000
    • Gather for the 2nd Annual Fundraiser in remembrance of Victoria’s Birthday with a goal of raising $30,000
  • In case you haven't had the chance - log onto our website to see our new look http://findingonesvoice.org
Look for future communications as we update you on our good work and promote FOV Day of Giving. Thank you again!
 
To support Finding One’s Voice and "Snapshots of Joy" in 2018, you can make a gift online now.
Copyright © 2018 Finding One's Voice, Inc., All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Finding One's Voice, Inc.
83 Beach Street
Sharon, MA 02067
Volume 1, Published June 29, 2017 *|MC:SUBJECT|*

“Finding One’s Voice” started as an idea with purpose. It had a lot of love and hope behind it as we collectively sought a way to honor Victoria’s life, to continue the light she brought into this world. Steadfast in making certain her death would not extinguish one ray, we created FOV in her memory. Two years later, there is much to celebrate and I am confident her light shines on, growing brighter daily. 

Your love for Victoria and trust in me propel me forward. Your support and guidance let air and light into FOV. I greet each class with energy and enthusiasm, knowing our work will have a long-lasting effect on many of the students. 


Their curiosity, including bafflement at the rudimentary technology of disposable cameras, leads to infectious joy as we discover things such as:

  • “You mean, there is no delete button?”   
  • “No, you cannot keep the camera unless you don’t want any pictures, then you can!” 
  • Significant discoveries of inner thoughts and feelings. 

Thank you for making this possible for the students who participate in “Snapshots of Joy.”  Thank you for being part of this journey.

I look forward to many years of celebrating with you.


Warmly,
Ann Beach
Founder & Executive Director

BY THE NUMBERS
In 2015, many of you believed in our mission and my ability to carry it forward at the outset. Nearly 30 took a leap of faith and made contributions convinced we’d do important work as we sought to continue the essence of Victoria and to bring her hope, light, and goodness into this complicated world. You generously provided financial support based on inspired but flimsy proof – the work of three students in 2015!  

By 2016 the number of donors had swelled to more than 225, in no small part due to the 42% response rate to our first annual appeal. We directly solicited 373 people in Massachusetts, with 155 contributing a gift. An additional 33 people from out of state contributed simply based on the contents of a letter updating the organization’s accomplishments. 

In doing so, you guaranteed the fiscal health of FOV. A plan to serve 250 children in 2017 was put in place knowing the funds to do so were in the bank. Honestly, until late in the day on the last Thursday in April reaching 250 children in 2017 seemed like a pipe dream, an unreachable goal. Then in one phone call, the pipe dream became a reality. FOV will most likely serve close to 350 children before 2017 is over!

We've also had three public exhibits and one additional retrospective showing the work of 110 Sharon students being planned for Fall 2017.  

The good news, again thanks to you, is that we have the funds to accommodate this unexpected but very welcome growth. We CAN and ARE doing it!

Click here to give to Finding One's Voice to support the second half of 2017. 

 

BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Much of this organization’s power and impact will never be measurable through numbers or metrics. However, the photographs and touching stories in the words of these young photographers show how the mission of FOV is coming to fruition. Their work is the heart and soul of our organization. The thoughts and feelings they share provide hope for the future.  

In “Snapshots,” kids really learn to find their voice and express their inner feelings. The course helps them develop patience; they learn to wait and when their photographs don’t turn out as expected, they sort through disappointment. They look at what is in front of them, learning to see something positive, joyful, even beautiful. Our belief is that this process cultivates adults who are kinder, more caring, and better able to withstand the impulsiveness and sense of urgency so prevalent in our world today. They discover the joy in waiting, slowing down to uncover something deeper than what is visible on the surface or through a sound bite. Students also learn to listen respectfully to one another, while the seed of compassion is planted. Through listening they develop an understanding of the feelings of someone different from themselves. 

Following is a sampling of their work, or see all the work to date on our Gallery page.

I like this picture of the sunrise because it reminds me that every day is a new day, and that even if I mess up, there will always be a new day, and I still have the trees, my house, and the sky. The most moving part of it is the sky, which to me represents happiness since the sky is infinite. It feels to me like happiness is infinite.    – Ben, grade 4

This picture brings me joy because of the lighting. I like how the middle is the lightest, and the edges are darkest. I also worked really hard to make the dreamcatcher, and finally, after many failures, I succeeded. This picture reminds me to not give up and keep trying no matter what happens. 
– Valerie, grade 6

TESTIMONY

Many thanks for all your work with MCA's 5th grade class and the terrific exhibition at the Library last night.  I was impressed with how the girls described the path that led to their final photo and why.”  
– Ed Hudner, Head of School, Mother Caroline Academy
“I can't say enough wonderful things about this program. This is my daughter’s second time enrolled and she is having so much fun! Thank you for offering this program to our students in Sharon!  
– Rachel

 

FUTURE PLANS & GOALS

  • Enroll 600 children in “Snapshots of Joy” in 2018
  • Hire a part-time assistant so we can offer “Snapshots” at two locations on the same day
  • Raise $100,000 to support serving more children and paying staff to teach “Snapshots of Joy”
Consider a contribution today to help FOV reach these goals.
Copyright © 2017 Finding One's Voice, Inc., All rights reserved.
You are receiving this newsletter because you opted in to learn more about the progress at FOV.

Our mailing address is:
Finding One's Voice, Inc.
83 Beach St
Sharon, MA 02067