In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love. We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.
The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.
As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.
Check out other self-trekking ambassadors’ experiences on our blog! Like Sharon in Haiti, Laura in Israel, Nathan in Puerto Rico, Allison in Kenya, Kelsey in Guatemala, Anne in Tanzania, Dan in Malawi, Krystal in Argentina, Cindy in Haiti, Lea in Cambodia and more!
Erika in Dominican Republic
Fifty moments captured in time.
Fifty smiles frozen in a Polaroid photograph.
Fifty memories to be treasured for years to come.
After Christmas I traveled with a team to Dominican Republic to build a home for a family in difficult financial times. Print the Love accepted my request to bring along a Polaroid camera. This provided me a tremendous opportunity to share photographs in a poor community near Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Although this was not my first experience with Print the Love (I was in Guatemala last year), connecting with people by sharing photographs is a powerful one. In about 60 seconds, you can connect with others and give them a picture that develops before their eyes. Typically, it results in smiles, giggles, laughing, and joy. Then they find a friend, a newborn baby, or want a group photo with grandma. Immediately, they see the importance of capturing a photo in this moment and they are so very grateful. They wait in anticipation as the image appears like magic before their eyes.
Photographs are common in our American homes, some are printed on canvas, some are framed, and many are taken and saved on our cell phones or shared on social media. In poor communities, a photograph is not as common, and priorities are food, shelter, and sometimes survival. This is the foundation of Print the Love, the simple but meaningful gift of a photograph.
Children seem to be the most astonished by the Polaroid camera, they are curious and want to see what happens next. A picture is personal. The smile creates a long-lasting sense of joy.
One thing I found when taking pictures was that many parents wanted me to take pictures of their babies. At first, I was a bit surprised, but think about the hope a newborn brings, the possibilities, the sweetness of a new baby. The physical changes that are happening daily are immense. A photograph stops time for just a moment. A chance to then look back and compare. It is a comforting feeling knowing that years from now families in Dominican Republic will study these pictures and it will help them remember their tiny bundles of joy.
Fifty times I asked if they would like their photograph taken and fifty times they said yes. Fifty snaps with the Polaroid, and fifty times the magic happened.
-About the author: Erika Moehring is in her first year at the College of St. Benedict where she is studying environmental biology. She enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and helping others in need. Her mother still treasures a photograph of her at the age of six, where she is sitting at wood wheel table coloring with a friend she made in Juarez, Mexico while helping build a home for her family.