Giving back…

28 01 2008

I honestly don’t do my fair share of donating and volunteering.  I really don’t have extra time, and feel like I “need” every dime I have.  However, photographer Erin Hession made a blog post today that caught my attention from the second I saw the beautiful smile of Jessica.

Taken from Erin’s blog:

This incredible woman with the beautiful smile is Jessica Dean, she has an amazing story and she needs your help. Her best friend, also named Jessica (Jess) is a regular on my blog and we’ve done a ton of photo shoots for her and her family. Well, a few years ago, we met Jessica Dean through her friend Jess when we found out that Jess was throwing Jessica a surprise bridal shower. You see, Jessica never had the big wedding…she never had the dream dress or all of the pomp and circumstance that goes with most weddings because her fiance had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. In order to get him the help he needed financially (mostly through her insurance) they decided to marry in a courthouse to make it legal and begin their lives fighting to save his. She sat with him in the hospital rooms, drove him to and from appointments and stuck with him through everything. She dealt with this for 2 years until he decided he wanted to move on with his life and surprised her by filing for divorce recently. Their divorce became final the same week that she found out that she now has breast cancer. She has already been through one surgery and has at least 2 more scheduled soon…she will be dealing with chemo and radiation treatments, an MRI, wigs and even more travel expenses over the next few months.

Her best friend, Jess, contacted me about this last week and we came up with a plan to help Jessica financially through this journey. Jess is selling raffle tickets at work and online through a new website that she set up called Jessica’s Fund. Local businesses have donated products and services for her to raffle off as donations come in through the website. For every $10 that is donated, your name will be placed in the drawing twice and for every $20 that is donated, your name will be placed in the drawing for 5 chances to win one of the awesome prizes she’s raffling off. We donated a gift card for a free portrait session with a high resolution CD included (valued at $599.00), a local dentist office donated a free Zoom whitening session, an optometrist donated a gift certificate for free glasses/frames and more donations from local restaurants and businesses have been pouring in over the last few days…so there are a few ways we’re asking for help from our faithful blog readers:

1. You can make a donation on her website (and indicate “Raffle” in the subject line) which will automatically enter you into the drawing for the great prizes and most importantly, it will help a very worthwhile cause!

2. If you are a local business owner or manager and would like to donate something for the raffle, please contact Jess at

3. Or if you’re like us, you can do both! )

The drawing will be held in about two weeks and Jess has not told Jessica about any of this…it’s all a complete surprise…hope she doesn’t follow this blog! LOL  So, if any of you know her, please do not tell her about this, we want to try to keep it a surprise for her. Jess will be surprising her with the savings deposit slip showing the amount of money we’ve all helped raise for her when she does the raffle drawing with her in 2 weeks. I’m so lucky to have such amazing clients like the two of them that I can call my friends. )

So Please, please, take the time to make a donation.  I will be doing so, even though I live too far away from Erin’s area (Indianapolis, IN) to even collect the prize.  I am going to specify that if I were to win the raffle, Jessica is to have my prize.  I urge you to do the same.




4 responses

28 01 2008
Erin Hession

Thank you so much!! I hope your faithful blog readers are able to help Jessica out too!! 🙂

28 01 2008
John Wooton (Erin's Husband)

You are awesome… Thank you for making this post. Every little bit helps.

28 01 2008

Thank you so much for doing this! She is such a wonderful woman and my best friend and it makes me so encouraged to see people willing to help others because she is always first to help anyone who needs it!
Jessica Durbin

29 01 2008

Thanks so much! Jess is such a wonderful person and always the first to help someone so she will just be so happy to see others who have stepped up to support her through this!
Thanks again!
Jessica Durbin

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