Children create Pictures of Hope

6:20 PM, Nov 21, 2011   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - "What are the most special hopes and dreams you have?" professional photographer Linda Solomon asks a room full of children.  

Guided by Solomon, these kids from the Metropolitan Ministries homeless shelter are about to embark on a journey, a trip into their hearts and imaginations.

Each year, Solomon travels around the country working with children on a project called Pictures of Hope.

"I never tire of giving children a chance to realize that their hopes and dreams matter. That's the most important thing here," she says. "You give kids a camera... they share their heart."

But before the cameras, there is first an all-important list. It's a time when tiny fingers grip big wishes, hopes and dreams. One by one the children read off their pieces of paper:

 "I hope to be a policewoman when I grow up."

"I hope to have somewhere to sleep."

"I wish to go to heaven."

"I hope my dad gets a job."

"My dream is to change the world."

Each child is given a camera and the assignment to capture on film their deepest desires. "They're young journalists telling their own heartfelt stories about their lives," says Solomon.

10 News followed 7-year-old Peyton and 8-year-old Angel on their photo shoot.

Peyton photographed some clothes at a thrift store and some healthy food.

Angel went outdoors to photograph a truck, like the one he wishes for his family.

"So we not go walking to places and so our feet won't get tired," he says.

So what became of all those photos? A few weeks later, Solomon is back in town for an unveiling party hosted by Ferman Chevrolet. The Brandon business also helped fund the project.

Inside the dealership, easels are set up. Each one holds an enlarged photo covered by cloth. The excitement grows as each child is invited up to unveil a piece of art they can proudly sign and keep.

But here's the best part: the photos were also turned into holiday cards. "I feel very proud," Peyton says looking at hers.

The cards sell for $10 for a set of 15. Proceeds will go to Metropolitan Ministries Children's programs.

So it's likely these kids have just one more wish-that you will enjoy their Pictures of Hope.

For information on purchasing cards click here.

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