“I believe in always gracing this earth with your talents so that they reflect the inner you and help others.” Inspiring words, especially from a 20 year old. But this young woman has managed to go beyond ideas in her young life, and has put her courage to help and inspire others into action.
Felicia Reinhard is the founder of Inspiration Through Art (formerly Littlest Hero’s Project), an organization that links photographers, artists and volunteers with families who have children with serious health issues.
“Our mission at Inspiration Through Art is to help provide and capture memories for families who are dealing with hectic schedules due to having a child who is suffering from a serious illness or life altering disability.
If you have a child, or know a child, who suffers from any type of serious illness or life altering disability we are here to help. Inspiration Through Art provides our special heroes with complimentary photo shoots, special cards and mail, gift packages, and various other programs, events, and fundraisers.”
I am thankful for Felicia’s courage to step outside her own life struggles to provide inspiration and loving memories for families. She is a great example of courage in action!
Visit Inspiration Through Art at: http://www.inspirationthroughart.org/
and LIKE their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/dreamdoINSPIRE
I am especially excited since I have signed-up to be a volunteer to make a treasure box for a little hero on their birthday!
Great articles about Felicia’s organization
excerpt from: Daily Herald SPOTLIGHT: Arlington Heights woman helps kids By Kimberly Pohl/ Bob Chwedyk
“Thanks to Felicia, now 20, and the organization she started five years ago, hundreds of other families have their own photographs to treasure.
Inspiration Through Art, formerly known as the Littlest Heroes Project, is a network of photographers, artists and other volunteers who provide free programs and gifts to children with a serious illness or life-altering disability.
More than 2,000 photographers as far away as China have signed up to share children’s stories through complimentary photo shoots, by far the nonprofit organization’s most popular service.
Felicia facilitates the process, working with families, running an elaborate website and collecting items to send care packages to her “heroes.” Her desire to make life more joyful for others is a byproduct of Felicia’s own difficult circumstances.
Born drug-addicted, premature and underweight, she’s gone through life dealing with unpredictable medical issues. She doesn’t know who her birth mother is. “I only know that my mother was young, had a lot of other kids and was going through hard times,” said Felicia, a 2009 graduate of Buffalo Grove High School. “She made very bad choices, but she made one amazing choice, and that was to have me and know she couldn’t keep me.” Sandra and Bill Reinhard of Arlington Heights, who had fostered 15 other children, took in Felicia when she was a month old.”
“With the exception of selling T-shirts and other merchandise adorned with the group’s logo to fund the website, Inspiration Through Art doesn’t accept monetary donations. Felicia doesn’t expect to change that, preferring for donors to get creative instead. She has accepted supplies such as boxes and stamps.
“It’s about making a personal connection with these kids,” Felicia said. “You don’t necessarily know you’re making a difference if you just write a check.””
Another great article about Inspiration Through Art by Kelsey Swanson http://volumeone.org/articles/article/2415/Inspiration_through_art
Inspiration Through Art: national project taps local photographers to help families of ill children
Some of us wake every morning to the smile of a child, the heartbeat and center of our world. We take pictures, imagining a day years down the road when we can look back and remember that moment as they gazed into the camera with a look that will blossom as they grow.
Now imagine that child is plagued by a serious illness or life-altering disability that consumes your family’s life, leaving no thought or time to take that simple instant and hold it in perpetuity. You treasure every moment, yet the chance to record it flies past as you and your loved ones fight for every day, living amazing stories that sometimes slip without notice to others. The non-profit organization Inspiration Through Art acknowledges this challenge and gives families the chance to celebrate the lives of their fighting children.
Formerly known as the Littlest Heroes Project, Inspiration Through Art was founded in 2008 by Felicia Reinhard as a nationwide volunteer network that provides free programs and services to the little heroes of our nation. Artists and professional photographers offer their services to families that struggle with illness and disability, capturing the art and beauty of each child, giving them a chance to share their inspirational stories with the world.
“Life moves so quickly when you are trying to keep up with medical appointments, therapies, and other activities, as well as just trying to be a family, that it becomes even more important to ensure they have those reminders of the moments they will want to remember,” said Kendra Krasin, a photographer for Inspiration Through Art from River Falls.
Other local volunteers include Angi Randall Photography of Augusta, Buena Farrell Photography of Ellsworth, Capture Life LLC of Eau Claire, and Catherine Brayall Photography of New Richmond.
Each case is treated individually, taking into consideration the needs of each child and family. Photographers and volunteers travel to homes, hospitals, clinics, fundraisers, and benefits to capture the child’s life and personality in more than just a professional setting, but rather as any other family would record the memories of their children. Inspiration Through Art provides each child with complimentary photo shoots, special cards and mail, and gift packages. It is host to various other programs, events, and fundraisers as well, including personal art sessions at home or in the hospital.
Sharing the beauty of a young life is always a work of art. This program takes that gift and records the masterpiece for families while promoting awareness for all kinds of childhood illnesses and disabilities. With the collaboration of volunteers, Inspiration Through Art ensures that no matter how long the battle or whatever the outcome, the journey of each of these children is acknowledged and remembered.”