Photography project brings needed donations into Hope Center

Jordyn Sanko
Personal hygiene products and a wide variety of food poured into the Hope Center in Pratt as a result of Archer photography's Front Step Fundraiser earlier this month.

Around the world, and in Pratt, there has been an emphasis on community and helping others during these coronavirus times. Several organizations and individuals joined forces recently to make needed donations to the Pratt Hope Center by way of a “Front Step Fundraiser.”

Kayla and Mariah Archer of Archer Photography helped organize the event which revolved around families posing for pictures in everyday clothes, or whatever they wanted, on their front porches. Archer Photography then took portraits from a safe distance (keeping in mind social distancing rules). The fundraiser, hosted on April 18 at 12-6 p.m., collected hygiene products, diapers, wipes, toiletries, and canned foods as the price for the portraits; along with $40 in Dillon’s gift cards and $578.25 in cash donations.

“Everyone did their part,” said Kayla Archer. “The 25 cents part of the total donation was actually from a little girl who donated. I believe anybody can still donate to the Hope Center, anything helps.”

The idea to host the fundraiser came when Archer saw a woman asking for help getting feminine hygiene products on a community help Facebook page.

“That’s something we just don’t think about during times of crisis,” she said. “These things are important, as well as diapers, toiletries. What’s easy for some people to get is not always easy for someone else.”

Archer said the idea for the project was inspired by a similar event publicized recently on the television news.

For Archer and friends, the goal was to get as many feminine products and toiletries as possible, as well as donations, to help as many people as possible. They hoped to gather at least 15 items expected, but by the time it was over they gathered more than 86 items.

A local Facebook group “Pratt Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” became the promotional base for the whole project. Time slots were arranged to pick up the donations and photograph the families on that site.

Pam Ford, Director of the Hope Center, said the images created by the fundraiser were as important as the donations themselves.

“These photos are raw, real, and exactly what we will be looking back at in history of what it was like during Covid19 in Pratt,” she said. “They show how we stood strong as humans, a community and a country! We did not let this virus take away our happiness, and it shows!”

Another aspect that made the fundraiser so special was the involvement of the community.

“The community came together and chose The Hope Center to donate to. This was not a fundraiser that we at the Hope Center put together, the citizens of our community did it for us,” Ford said. “This was a tremendous help for our community members that are in need. We want to sincerely thank everyone that participated.”

The Front Step Fundraiser may make a comeback with round two in the future. However, it is always possible to donate to Pratt Hope Center regardless of scheduled promotional dates. The mission of the Pratt Hope Center is to help those in need in the community, and with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that role has become more important than ever.