Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and although it’s important to cherish the time with our family and loved ones, we should also spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves.
The festive spirit is all about spreading cheer and love, and for some the most fulfilling way of doing that is by volunteering to help those in need.
Since 2016, an organization called ‘The Heart Project’ has done just that, visiting hospitals to photograph ill children sitting with Father Christmas.
The project started a a hospital in Melbourne where photographers would Photoshop sick children into magical scenery with Santa himself.
Heart Project co-founder and Story Art creator Karen Alsop said the mission was to put a smile on the faces of families who are finding it tough at Christmas.
“The idea sprouted from a conversation between myself and Adam Cubito (Heart Project co-founder) in 2016. We knew that Photographic Art had the ability to transport kids into another world and realized that this would be an incredible project to run in a hospital where many families couldn’t return home for Christmas”, she said.
“For some it’s been the last family photo before their child has passed on. It’s an emotional ride for our team who become close with these families.”
Despite its humble beginnings, this year the project has visited hospitals from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.
Although the project is now global, they still travel with the same Melbourne Santa, who is the heart of the Christmas Wish project.
“The children love seeing the finished images, for many of them they are totally surprised.
“What we do is truly precious and we wouldn’t change it for the world.”
It’s stories like this that really put Christmas into perspective.
More positive stories like this please.
Images via Bored Panda