The Christmas Wish, which has become an annual viral sensation put out over the last few years by The Heart Project is back and even bigger for 2017. In 2016, the project created holiday magic for 30 sick children from one hospital. This year Karen Alsop, the lead photographer behind the project, took it countrywide in Australia reaching even more people in need and this is just the beginning.
The Heart Project produces consistent heartwarming projects that connect artists with sponsors to create amazing photo collages for children and families who are undergoing some type of hardship. Back in October, I wrote about The Get Well Tree which resulted in a beautiful children's book designed to help and inspire children in hospitals going through difficult recovery. Each new project is even more amazing and a perfect example of how photography and a group of artists can use their talents to bring a smile to people in need.
The 2017 Christmas Wish Project is absolutely amazing in what it accomplished this year. Visiting hospitals all over Australia Alsop and her team of volunteers brought holiday joy to so many families who might find themselves calling these hospitals home for the holidays. Each photo represents a moment of joy for someone that is struggling at a time of year when most people are out celebrating. For many of these families, this was their only chance for a holiday photo and for others, it is their first. The project does more than just produce a final photo that lights up the face of those photographed. It's also a fun photoshoot involving a very convincing looking Santa Clause, film crew, and photographers that they get to be a part of. Judging by some of the footage in the above video these shoots bring a lot of happiness to the families.
Here are some before and after examples of just what went into creating the fantastic images they received.
Part of what makes the project so successful is all the planning that takes place and a long list of people and sponsors involved. For a complete list of participants check out the projects Homepage. However, there were a few notable returns from last years project. Brittany Long who was a recipient of last years Christmas Wish Project returned this year as a participant getting to travel along to the various hospitals and even taking some of the pictures. Santa played by Kevin Harris also returned for the project taking a week out of his busiest time of year to bring Santa to life for these very special children.
After the success of this years project, The Heart Project is taking next year internationally and they are looking for people to get involved in their own communities. If you are interested in finding out more or filling out an application then check out theheartproject.com.au. You can also follow The Heart Project and Karen Alsop of Story Art on Instagram and Facebook for all their great current and upcoming projects.
Images used with permission from Karen Alsop.