One month after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that stole 26 lives and shattered many others, people across the country are continuing movements to honor the memory of those lost.
The Engel family had photos taken shortly before the tragedy — images that later circled the nation in remembering the little girl. A Facebook page and blog about the movement points out how extremely important those photos must be to the family — and explains how one photographer saw that as a meaningful opportunity to help others and remember the victim.
"I know how much that family must cherish these photos now; so, I thought it was so important to give back using my skill as a photographer," the anonymous photographer who began the movement wrote on the Facebook page. "It started out with me just offering a free, 30-minute family shoot to a family that might not otherwise have images made, but a lot of other photographers wanted to do the same. So, I created The Olivia Act. I challenge every photographer to do this for a family."
Port Washington resident and photographer Diane Kinzer learned of the movement, and said her passion for "capturing memories" motivated her to give back, too.
"We go about our daily lives and sometimes we don't take the time or have the resources to have family photos taken," Kinzer said in a Facebook message announcing her participation in the act. "I can’t wait to gift a family with these memories that can't be replaced or taken away! I am so honored to have the opportunity to do this and give back a little to our community."
Kinzer will accept nominations for families "who you think would appreciate this gift of memories," through Feb. 15, she said. The gift will be a 1-hour session to be scheduled in spring and can be shot in her studio or in the surrounding Port Washington area.
E-mail nominations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a subject line "Olivia Act." The e-mail should include who you are nominating and a contact e-mail address and phone number, as well as the reason you think they deserve the gift.
"Tell a friend, tell everyone at work, tell a stranger you pass on the street," Kinzer said. "Nominate someone you know or nominate yourself!"
How You Can Help
Olivia Engel loved to dance and be in theatre, according to an article on MSNBC, and was set to be an angel in her church's Christmas pageant. "She was a creative, outgoing, effervescent, lovely little girl," a family member told MSNBC.
A Facebook page titled, "Friends of the Engel Family Fund," invites donations in Engel's honor to "help the family cover Olivia's final expenses, as well as allow the family to take the time to grieve and love each other."
Newtown Patch has a list of the charities to donate to in honor of victims, chosen by the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown.