Raising Funds For Ebola Seems To Be Hard…

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“The response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was massive: Billions of dollars in donations poured in.

“It had everything,” says Joel Charny, who works with InterAction, a group that coordinates disaster relief. “It had this element of being an act of God in one of the poorest countries on the planet that’s very close to the United States. … And the global public just mobilized tremendously.”

People haven’t responded to the Ebola outbreak in the same way; it just hasn’t led to that kind of philanthropic response.”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/09/22/349962559/why-raising-money-to-fight-ebola-is-hard

The festive season is upon us, and every little helps. Please take action to help those who are suffering from the Ebola Virus and donate to Giro 555.

Making a difference, one photo session at a time

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We’re delighted to share this Images to Inspire Hope family portrait session which took place in the picturesque Máximapark on the outskirts of Utrecht.

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We were thrilled to finally meet this family who had won the family portrait session in our prize draw to help the survivors of the SuperTyphoon which hit the Philippines late last year. It was a sunny morning, not a cloud in the sky, as we wandered together, enjoying the warmth of the sun whilst the children played.

We would like to once again thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for their generous donations and sharing of our projects. Please watch this space and keep in touch! We have lots of new ideas and are working hard behind the scenes to realise this. We couldn’t have come this far without your support.

Thank you.

Much love,
Natalie and Vinita

The Resilience of the Filipinos

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We recently received an update from Giro555 and wanted to share this with you…

Thanks to all of your donations, many people in the Philippines were able to receive help. A lot of work has been done but an enormous amount of suffering still remains. The reconstruction will take years.

Giro555 have committed to stay and provide assistance until the end of 2015 to offer the people who have suffered in the Philippines perspective for the future.

Through the following video, you will be able to see where your donations have been used.

What struck the Giro555 team the most was the resilience of the Filipinos, even in the face of all this suffering, they bravely continue on.

Natalie and I are also committed to choosing a project every year to help with raising funds and we are grateful for your unwavering encouragement, donations and sharing of our initiative.

If you have a specific cause you would like us to consider for a future project, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Warm wishes,
Vinita and Natalie

A big thank you to all and congratulations to the winner…

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We would like to express our deepest thanks to all of you who donated to Giro555. Your generous donations and heart warming messages provide us with the motivation we need to go forward with our initiative.

With thanks to your donations, and your commitment in spreading the news about our project for the Philippines, we have raised 701 Euros! We are so moved by all your support!

Christmas brings hope to the Philippines

The Giro555 fund helps to provide the people of the Philippines with their basic needs: food and medicine, and arranging shelter and clean drinking water. At 09:15 yesterday, 24 December 2013, Giro555 announced a new total of 35,311,519 Euros.

There is no doubt that all your donations have been used to help children and families in the Philippines and we encourage you to continue to donate.

Giro555 also published an article yesterday, mentioning that Christmas brings hope to the Philippines. In the article, a father is quoted as saying:

“Het ergste wat ons kan gebeuren, is dat we ons slachtoffer gaan voelen. We kunnen niet bij de pakken neerzitten. We moeten door.”
“The worst that can happen, is that we start feeling like victims. We mustn’t feel sad, we must go on.”

The spirit of never giving up is evident in the people who suffered from this great disaster.

Prize Draw Winner!

random number

We are delighted to announce the winner of the prize draw!

In total, we received 67 entries (plus donations from Vinita Salomé Photography and Natalie Carstens | The Birth Photographer that were not counted towards the drawing). The Random Number Generator from random.org picked our winning entry….

…number 46!

Congratulations to Carla Winkel-Roos and her family! You have won a very special family photo session with us both and we can’t wait to meet you! We’ll be in touch by email with all the details!

A new project in 2014

Each year we choose a cause to support and 2014 will be no different. To be the first to hear the news, please consider subscribing to receive blog updates by email or in an rss feed reader.

If there is a charity or fund you’d like us to support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are currently accepting submissions for future projects and we look forward to sharing updates with you.

We would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Thank you once again, from the bottom of our hearts.

Much love,
Natalie & Vinita

For the Philippines: a way to give and a chance to receive

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Giro555 announced their latest total today. The Netherlands has raised 34,311,501.13 euros for the Philippines – absolutely amazing!

You can still add to the total. Every little bit goes a long way to helping the people of the Philippines. They need us. Please keep giving.

Donate today and be entered into a prize draw to WIN a wonderful portrait session for you and your family in the heart of the Randstad (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht). For every donation of 10 euros you’ll be entered into the draw. Increase your chance of winning; donate 50 euros and receive 5 entries! The closing date to enter is 24 December 2013.

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Can you help us? Here’s our action on the Giro555 website – help us make a good final total to add there on 25 December! Please give what you can. All the details you need are here.

With thanks,
~ Natalie and Vinita

It’s National Action Day for the Philippines

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Today is Nationale actie Filippijnen in The Netherlands – National Action Day for the Philippines. Public and commercial radio and TV are holding a fundraiser for the victims of SuperTyphoon Haiyan. The action day is organised by De Stichting Samenwerkende Hulporganisaties (SHO), RTL and SBS 6.

Radio 2 are broadcasting from 06:00 till midnight at the Centrum van Beeld en Geluid (Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision) in Hilversum which has been set up as an action centre with phonelines set up to take your donations.

Barely 15 minutes after the start of the national campaign, the total amount donated so far was announced: an incredible 7,993,096 euros.

Let’s keep giving!

Help slachtoffers ramp Filipijnen | giro555

Can you help? Give now. Make a difference.

Win a family portrait session!

  • For every €10 you donate to GIRO555, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a family portrait session with Natalie AND Vinita. Increase your chance of winning; donate €50 and you’ll receive 5 entries!
  • Forward a copy of your donation confirmation email to help@imagestoinspirehope.org
  • The closing date for the prize draw is midnight GMT+1 on 24 December 2013.

Please see our project: Help victims of the Philippine SuperTyphoon Haiyan for more details.

Thank you so much for your support and generosity!
- Natalie & Vinita

Please HELP Victims of Philippine SuperTyphoon HAIYAN

Posted by Natalie Carstens in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

images-to-inspire-hope-natalie-carstens-vinita-salomeJust two weeks ago Vinita and I (Natalie) were discussing the launch of a new project in 2014. We are keen to make a difference to the lives of others through our initiative and have previously raised money to help families in Haiti and Japan.

A lot can happen in a few short days and in disbelief we watched news of a devastating SuperTyphoon sweeping through the central Philippines unfold over the weekend.

Seeing images of the aftermath shared by friends with connections to the Philippines brought it even closer to home. Our hearts go out to everyone affected and that is why we decided to take action sooner rather than later.

Our chosen fund is GIRO555 from De Stichting Samenwerkende Hulporganisaties (SHO). This organisation is a partnership of Dutch aid organisations including Oxfam, Save the Children, Unicef and Red Cross Netherlands.

In 2011, we raised $500 for Save the Children’s fund for Japan. Your generous donations have helped children and their families get through those dark days and have restored hope in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

We want to exceed that for the Philippines.

To do this, we need your help!

You and your children could win a wonderful family photo session on-location in the heart of the Randstad area (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht).

  • Images to Inspire HopeThis session will be photographed by Natalie AND Vinita and will be held on Saturday 18 January 2014. This gives you plenty of time to shop for new outfits too, if need be ;-) If you are not available on this date, don’t worry, we can make alternative plans!
  • Session is for up to 5 members of the same immediate family and will last between 1-2 hours.
  • Winner will also receive all their proof images in medium resolution on CD. Print to your heart’s content!
  • Valued at €750!!

How to win:

  • Make a MINIMUM donation of €10 to GIRO555
  • For every donation of €10 you will be entered into the prize draw. Increase your chance of winning; donate €50 and you’ll receive 5 entries!
  • Forward a copy of your donation confirmation email to help@imagestoinspirehope.org (if you do not receive your donation confirmation email within 5 minutes, please check your spam folder)
  • All entries must be RECEIVED by midnight (GMT+1) on Christmas Eve: Tuesday 24 December 2013.
  • Winner will be drawn at random and announced on Christmas Day: Wednesday 25 December 2013.
  • You can enter as many times as you like, but each entry must be the minimum €10 donation.

Other details:

  • Session participants must sign a model release. This allows us to showcase our favourite images from your session on our blogs (Natalie’s blog and Vinita’s blog) and on the Images to Inspire Hope website.
  • Session must be held in the Randstad area (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht).
  • If the winner does not claim his/her prize by Monday 6 January 2014 or cannot claim the prize, then another winner will be drawn.
  • This program is not sponsored or promoted by GIRO555 (SHO) and we are not receiving anything in return for this effort.

But wait! There’s more!

Please forward this to your friends so they can enter the prize draw as well! Feel free to blog, tweet or share the link to the Images to Inspire Hope website! Together we can help those in need.

Thank you SO much!!

With love,
Natalie and Vinita

* make your own weemee character at weeworld.com

A moment spent with family

Posted by Natalie Carstens in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

It’s taken us a while to get here, but we are back! And we’re delighted to share the images from the winners of the Let’s Help Japan prize draw!

This session was long overdue! Mama was due to have a baby right after she won the prize, and yes – Natalie also became pregnant. It wasn’t till after Natalie’s maternity leave that we were able to arrange the special Images to Inspire Hope family photo session. It was a great day, where we caught Autumn at it’s best and found a quiet spot in the park to capture the connections between this gorgeous family.

And the winner is…

Posted by Natalie Carstens in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the two months since we started up this initiative, it has been so heartwarming to see and feel all of your support. We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Our project wouldn’t have been a success if it were not for you.

We have managed to raise $500 for Save the Children’s fund for Japan; maybe not such a huge amount, but every little bit counts. Your generous donations have helped children and their families get through those dark days and have restored hope in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Save the Children have committed to a three-year response strategy, reaching 40,500 children and an additional 25,000 adults. We encourage you to continue to donate.

photo credit: Vinita

Through the Images to Inspire Hope initiative, we plan to choose a different cause to support each year from now. Please stay tuned to the blog since we will be posting snippets of information throughout the year. Please consider subscribing to receive updates by email or in an rss feed reader.

And now, the news you’ve all been waiting for… we are very happy to announce the winner of our Let’s Help Japan prize draw for a wonderful family photo session!

In total, we received 43 entries (plus donations from Vinita Salomé Photography and Natalie Carstens | The Birth Photographer that were not counted towards the drawing). The Random Number Generator from random.org picked our winning entry….

…number 36!

Congratulations to Moira and her family! We will be in touch by email with the details!

We really can’t say it enough, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your generous contributions.

Much love,
Natalie and Vinita

Hope draws it’s power through a sign of solidarity

Posted by Natalie Carstens in hearts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A couple of weeks ago, a tweet by @overheardatmoo caught my eye:

“If you can spare the time, take a look at this creative and touching way to help support the people of Japan – www.kokorowatomoni.jp

I looked at the link.

I retweeted.

I emailed Vinita.

And the next time we met up, we took a photo for Japan + Tohoku.

This is an incredibly touching project, take a look.

Our hearts are with Japan.

Is yours?

Let’s help Japan!