Helping a Senior in Need – {Jessica Vandermark Photography}

April 10, 2012

Most photographers help out their clients with capturing memories through photographs.  Jessica Vandermark of Jessica Vandermark Seniors has taken a step further when it comes to helping out one of her senior clients.  She is helping raise money for Amy, a senior who was involved in a car accident in March.

Jessica has received tons of encouraging emails from the photography community and from Amy’s friends and family.  I wanted to showcase this amazing act of kindness to show how we can all help Jessica in her quest to help Amy and her family during this hard time.

Please read what Jessica had to say about Amy, what she is doing to help and what you can do to help too!  Thanks so much to Jessica for sharing this story and I hope, as I am sure we all do, that Amy recovers from her injuries very soon!  If you are reading this, please keep Amy and all of her family in your prayers!

Tell me about Amy…What is she like?  What does she like?  Where does she got to school?  Amy goes to Live Oak High with my son.  She is one of my Senior Reps!  She is a vibrant, funny and outgoing person!  I’m not sure if I have a memory of her without a smile on her face.  The day of her Senior session, she showed up with balloons, a vintage bike, her boyfriend and a pair of heels that she knew I would love.  Oh! And a ton of Pinterest ideas to show me as well.  To give you an idea of how big her personality is,  just a few days before her accident, she was hounding one of our teachers to find out if she had won Most School Spirit.  (She did by the way).  If there was a game, Amy was there dressed in blue and gold from head to toe.

She’s a dancer, a true friend with a forgiving soul, and just loved by everyone.

I asked her boyfriend, Tony, to give me a quote.  He responded with Amy’s favorite quote of all time, which happens to be so appropriate for the situation.   “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning how to dance in the rain.”

What happened to Amy?    Amy was involved in a car accident on March 29th.   Among other injuries, the most serious was TBI (or Traumatic Brain Injury)  She spent several days on a ventilator in a coma.  I am happy to say that she is no longer on the vent and is waking up a little more each day.

How is Jessica Vandermark Photography helping this family?  It started out as a small idea.  I knew the medical bills were going to be enormous for the injuries she had suffered. Amy’s father also suffers from Dementia at a very young age.  I wanted to do something to help.  I decided to offer a chance to win a Senior Session to anyone willing to donate $25 or more.  I figured I might raise a few hundred dollars and though it wouldn’t be much, it could help with daily expenses incurred by her mom having to stay at the hospital.  Food, Gas, parking…etc…  What I wasn’t prepared for was the outpouring of support from not only our town community, but my photography community.  As of now, we have raised $2800.  The majority of the money donated was from people who were not even interested in the prize.  A good portion of the donations came from people who had never even met Amy, her mom or anyone in her family.  Just good people wanting to help.  In the world we live in, it was so refreshing to see such support, such selflessness, and immediate action by so many.

What has been the reaction from your clients and photographer friends?  My clients have been amazing.  I truly feel like they are extended family and I wasn’t wrong.  Many of my clients got in touch quickly to donate.  I’m sure so many of those parents, having teenagers or children of their own, can easily put themselves in Janet’s place.  People were so ready and willing to give.   My photographer friends were no different.  Many of them donated and also helped spread the word.  I am still in awe.

What has been the reaction from Amy and her family?  Just blown away really!  Amy’s mom, Janet and her boyfriend, Tony are so grateful to everyone that has opened their hearts and given so easily.  They are simply amazed at the outpouring of support for Amy.

How is Amy doing?  Amy is progressing and will be transported soon to a hospital that specializes in rehabilitating patients with TBI.

What can others do to help?  Donations, prayers or BOTH!  If you are interested in donating to help Amy’s family with medical bills and expenses that will coincide with her hospital stay, you can reach me for information on how to do that.  Right now I am taking donations via my Paypal account ( and will present Amy’s mom with a check for the total amount collected.