A Senior Rep Christmas With Operation Christmas Child // Fort Collins Senior Photographers


How lucky am I to work with these girls? They are out to change the world and have the biggest hearts. I love seeing their compassion and it's so exciting to see them passionate about this world and all that is happening in it. One of the things I really wanted to focus on this year with my reps was to have fun and do something to serve someone else. I felt that Christmas was the perfect occasion for this. I had them pick the idea for our Christmas party (Crazy, Quirky Christmas) and pick what they wanted to do for charity --  So what did they choose? Operation Christmas Child!

Operation Christmas Child is part of Samaritan's Purse - An international relief NGO. Every year, people all over the nation pack shoeboxes with gifts for children of all ages which are delivered to over 100 countries worldwide. We filled EIGHT boxes for girls between the ages of 10-14. From dresses, to backpacks, stuffed animals, toothbrushes and more -- eight of these boxes were filled to the brim with goodies and love. All of my girls personally donated these gifts too, which is seriously so generous and just reinforces how much they want to make a difference in the world. We also signed cards and put a group picture in the shoeboxes so the young girls receiving the boxes will get to see the faces of all of the ladies who packed them. I dropped the boxes off at their drop-off site in Denver and it was SO COOL to see how many volunteers were running this thing in the big warehouse. I felt like I was in Santa's workshop, busy with elves and Christmas cheer. I checked the tracking information recently and it looks like our boxes were shipped to Mexico. I am so excited about that; it makes me think back to the mission trips I took to Mexico when I was in high school.

Mexico

Of course we had a little bit of a party that night too. The girls came to my cozy little home, hung out with my 3 year old for a bit, and enjoyed candy canes, cookies, popcorn and marshmallow filled hot chocolate with their very own sweater mugs. We had a quick little photoshoot using some studio lighting -- and they cozied up to my fireplace, sat in my big blue chair and laughed and giggled throughout the rest of the night. 

It has been such a blessing to work with these ladies this year. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful team -- I have just as much fun as them :). 

Interested in being a 2019 senior rep?  Official applications will be coming out in the coming weeks -- get an exclusive VIP invitation code from one of our current reps to receive some legit sign-up goodies. We do so many fun things throughout the year and I would love to have you as part of our #2019BlueCrew! We will change the world, laugh, form new friendships and get freaking awesome pictures. It's a great program to be a part of, and I can't wait to meet you! 

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Get Busy Livin' Foundation: Have a GRATEFUL Day!

At the end of April, in rain or shine, I was lucky enough to shoot the runners portion of the 3rd Annual Dylan Meier Foundation Get Busy Livin' 5k Run.  Dylan Meier was my husbands younger brother, and he passed away in a tragic hiking accident a little over 3 years ago leaving a huge hole in my husbands family.  I sadly never got to meet Dylan because I met my husband shortly after the accident, but I have heard several incredible things about him.  He was a head quarterback at K-State, played professional Football in Germany and Italy, traveled the world (including New Zealand), was a colorful and descriptive writer, and was a leader and encourager to everyone he came into contact with.  Dylan, was a very special person, and it greatly saddens me that I will never know him or know that part of my husbands family or life. I can't imagine experiencing the loss they have suffered and am amazed at how strong and supportive they have been for each other.  I am lucky, however, that Dylan's legacy lives on through the foundation, and through that I do feel like I know Dylan in ways. The Get busy Livin' Foundation was started by a few of Dylan's friends shortly after his death.  They have worked tremendously hard to ensure that the foundation honors and supports those who exhibit Dylan's most loved qualities: adventure, fitness, curiosity, generosity and a daily zest for life experiences. Through the foundation, student scholarships have been created, Soles for Souls has received a TON of donated shoes, and individuals are encouraged to travel and live life to the fullest regardless of social, economical or imaginary obstacles. Dylan may be gone, but his memory is is alive and thriving.  It is a reminder that tomorrow could be your last, you shouldn't put off doing the things you love, you never know who your kindness affects, and we must always be grateful for the gifts we have been given in life.  Have a GRATEFUL Day!

2013 Get Busy Livin' 5k {Access Race Photos}

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Calling all GBL 5k runners from this past Saturday.  Click on the below link to access your race photos.  The case-sensitive password is "GBL."  You can download all of your race photos for free, or purchase prints and other products. Please contact BlueHaus Studios with questions.  Enjoy!

2013 GBL Race Photos

10 Ideas for Rockin’ Non-Profit Events

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Many non-profits depend on their events and fundraisers to financially support their organizations year after year.  It’s extremely important for them to utilize their resources in order to keep their budget down and maximize their attendees experience in order to get the type of financial support they need.  Here are 10 things to consider when planning a non-profit event: {Provide Value} When people donate money, they want something in exchange.  Not necessarily a take home trinket, but they want entertainment and a good show.  Make the program entertaining, and ramp up the energy a bit.  This does not have to be an expensive endeavor, but make sure the content is relevant and the program is not stagnant.  A great example is the Summit County event, Dancing with the Mountain Stars. They benefit Flight for Life Colorado, and put on an amazing show with local residents competing for the winning spot.

{Show Them Their Money} Show your supporters where their money is going.  This means show them numbers, pictures, testimonials, and even bring in people who are personally benefitting from the organization.  People want to know that their donations are being used effectively.

{Ask Businesses For Help} Get all the help you can.  Ask people who are directly related to your organization to volunteer or provide a business service for free or at a discounted rate.  You get their help, they get their business promoted. It’s the best of both worlds.

{Trendy Advertising} Have someone professionally design your branding for the event.  Whether it’s a volunteer, local college student looking for volunteer opportunities, or a local graphic design firm, make sure it has some eye-catching value.  Once you have posters, email them out, post to Facebook, advertise on Twitter and Pinterest, and get your volunteers to do the same.  With social media, you can spread the word like wildfire if you just ask people to help.

{Donate A La Carte} During the event, provide donation stations with some kind of purpose.  Recently, I was involved with an organization who did a “Wine Wall”  where $10-$100 of bottles of wine were donated to the event and attendees could purchase $10 tickets for the wine drawing.  They were guaranteed a bottle of wine worth at least what they paid for the ticket, and it gave the organization extra donation money.   Be creative here!

{Monthly Donations} Make the “official ask” for monthly donations while at the event.  Provide donation slips that Visa or bank account information can be written on, and ask for donors to donate $10/$25/$50 monthly.  You then would automatically debit their account every month, and could cause a $100 event donor to donate $600 in a year.  Maximize your donations!

{Provide Food} Have your event catered, and/or ask for donations from local restaurants.  Make sure you have enough food for the event so the donors don’t feel like you are skimping.  They are taking their valuable time and donating their valuable money, so the least you can do is feed them well.

{Plan Few, Not Many} Don’t go overboard on the number of events you plan per year.  Often you invite the same people over and over again, and they get tired of you constantly asking for money every other month.  Also, carefully planned big events tend to bring in larger donations than smaller events, and you don’t over extend your volunteers or organization.

{Stay on Schedule} The people who have the most money to donate usually have very little free time.  Make sure you stay on schedule during the event.  Donors need to know their time is valued, and that you care about them getting to their next commitment as scheduled.  It also shows that the organization runs a tight-ship; something that donors will appreciate.

{Maximize Attendance} When picking a day, make sure there are no other conflicting events or holidays that might take your donors elsewhere.  Also, decide whether it would be best to plan a breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner event, depending on your typical donor profile.  Knowing your audience is key!

Black Tie Bingo: Accessing Photos

If you were at the BlackTie Bingo event last night, you can access your photos here.  The password is "Advocates," and it is case sensitive.  Email me with any questions if you have any problems downloading or accessing them. -Ashley

2013 Black Tie Bingo

If you're in the Summit County area and haven't gotten a chance to purchase your tickets for Black Tie Bingo tomorrow night, you can purchase them here.  Advocates for Victims of Assault is a great organization, and would love your support!