Rob Jones pulled off a Christmas Miracle, and he doesn’t even know it. First, a quick background: Rob runs Towner-Jones Photography based up in Washington DC, and when I started my Worldwide Photo Walk a few years back, Rob contacted me asking if he could help by setting up and running an t-shirt shop with the proceeds going to “Springs of Hope Orphanage” in Kenya (which was built from the ground up in part by donations from some of the wonderful people who read this very blog).

Anyway, Rob’s idea was a hit, and last year alone we raised more than $7,000 to feed and cloth the wonderful kinds at Springs of Hope Kenya. This year, Rob set a goal of $10,000, but we got the store up a little late (my fault) and we were at around $7,000 once again, but Rob wouldn’t settle for that, and he personally kicked in another $1,500 and he got a good friend of his,¬†Troy¬†Breidenbach (president of IGT America (igtamerica.com) to donate the remaining $1,500 to reach our $10,000 goal for the orphanage.

Timing is everything
Here’s where Rob’s Christmas Miracle kicks in. Last night my family went to our church’s annual Christmas Play, and at the end our Pastor asked if the folks there could find a way to kick in a little that night to help the Springs of Hope because there had been two recent break-ins at the orphanage, one of them being a violent break-in (he didn’t elaborate), but they wanted to add more security, including a security system, to help protect the children and staff.

Molly Bail, the director of Springs of Hope in Kenya, was visiting our church last night, and she was out front selling hand-bags made by the children and staff to raise money for the orphanage. I hadn’t seen Molly yet (didn’t even know she was there), but I saw her after church and was able to tell her that $10,000 was on its way (even more than they needed), and she was just overcome.

I have a favor to ask
This never would have happened if not for Rob, and for Troy Breidenbach, and for those of you around the world who brought the official Worldwide Photo Walk t-shirts, and I am just so very grateful to you all. That being said, I have a favor to ask. Could you join me here in thanking Rob for working and managing this t-shirt project for years now, so at the end of it all, we don’t just have photos to show for it—-we have something that makes in a real difference in the lives of some very deserving children’s lives. Just leave Rob a quick comment here, or visit his blog and thank him there , or I’m sure that Rob would even appreciate it more if you visited SpringsOfHopeKenya.org and sponsored a child, or you could pick up a holiday gift for them (shown below) that won’t cost you very much, but these gifts of food mean more than you can ever know.

Merry Christmas everybody!
Thanks to Rob and Troy, and even my friend Janine who sends a donation to Springs of Hope every single month, and thanks to you all for coming to the rescue once again, and being a part of a little Christmas miracle.

 

About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.

47 Comments

  1. wow! gr8 work!
    im happy to know that u’ve collected $10000 for orphanage.

  2. Rob is a mutual friend, and I totally agree – he is probably one of the nicest, kindest guys you will ever meet. What he contributes not only to photography, but in giving back to the world is just amazing. Kudos to Rob for all his efforts, and to you for helping to bring light to the plights of others…

    We all have it so well, yet we don’t even know how much others suffer or live on such a meager existence relative to our own…

  3. Rob, thanks for all you do. I’ve been a long time contributor of Springs of Hope and I thank you for all you have done! I encourage everyone to make a buy/donation, I went with the meat, it’s a quick PayPal donation!

    KT

  4. Done…I did 40 lbs of beans. Happy to help!

  5. Hi Scott

    Its so horrible to hear that an orphanage could be attacked, it saddens me that even orphaned children can’t be protected, kids who have already lost something we should all be thankful for. Rob, Troy, you are true gentlemen. And to Molly and her team, you are doing a magnificent job in spite of the setbacks that seem to befall you. I’m off to add another $25 from here in the UK.
    Well done Scott for not only raising the money every year but for being an amazing supporter, even an ambassador, of such a worthy cause.
    I hope you and the children are able to enjoy Christmas. All the best.
    Dave

  6. I did my first walk this year and unbeknownst to me it was lead by Rob Jones (along with his wonderful family). I wasn’t aware that he ran the t-shirt shop or gave so much until long after our walk. He is the most unassuming, nicest guy you’d ever meet. Thanks to Rob & Rose for all they do.

  7. Firstly well done to Rob and Troy and to echo Dave’s sentiments to Scott as bringing the Springs of Hope back into focus for us all.

    I’ve made a donation for $25 as well from the UK.

    If we can all make a little donation it’ll mount up into something huge.

    Happy Christmas.

    Scott

  8. Just plain AWESOME Scott and Rob!!!! I didn’t get a chance to attended the Photowalk this year so I didn’t purchase a T-shirt. :-( However, I just added 2 hens and 25lb of meat! GOD bless you Scott and Rob for your support of Spring of Hope! Have a very, very Merry Christmas and Wonderful New Year!

    Dennis

  9. Thank you Rob for your servants heart!

  10. Thank you Rob for your compassion and hard work.
    Just donated chicken (hens) and rice to the orphanage. Definitely a worth cause. All these donations will help to bring Peace on Earth.

    • Jamie—-you rock!!! Thank you for giving to the Orphanage, and these are exactly the things that can help to bring Peach on Earth. Merry Christmas!!! :)

      • Thank you to you also Scott, for all your work in promoting this cause (and everything else you do). Also, I thought your gift of a plane ticket was a wonderfully compassionate gift. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  11. Thanks Rob (and Scott) for making this effort. Quite obviously (?), if you didn’t make the effort, I might not have…

    I appreciate the option to provide something more sustaining (chickens) than a one time donation of food! Done!

    Wishing a joyous season to all.

  12. Done, 2 hens and rice. A Merry Christmas to you all and to Rob, Troy and Scott in particular. You guys make a difference! Have a wonderful New Year!

  13. Thanks so much to Rob and Scott for all you do to help others (and encourage us to do the same :-) ). Nice to be able to donate a couple laying hens (that’s part of the 12 days of x-mas, right??).

    Merry Christmas to you all!

  14. Thank you Rob & Troy for all you have done. Also, thank you to Scott for bringing this worthy cause to our attention. Just donated some Rice to the cause. Happy Holidays!

  15. I’m on vacation this week, watching all the holiday craziness of people shopping, partying, buying and consuming. It’s all great fun, but then Rob goes and reminds us what’s really important. Thank you Rob, for all you’ve done and continue to do. Thank you Troy, for stepping in when it really counts. And thank you, Scott, for this wonderful blog and for letting us all help out. I’m skipping a fancy dinner tonight and donating $100. Happy holidays, everyone!

    Janine

    • Janine: You are ALWAYS there for the kids —- any time there’s a need—you are there in a big way (in fact, you were mentioned in the post above). Thank you for your generous heart, and for helping making sure the kids have what they need once again. Merry Christmas! :)

  16. One of each for $150. Done.

    I’ve been sending something each year based on your reminders, Scott. Also, I choose to help them because I believe that it will all go to the kids, not to the middlemen (thieves) along the way.

    By the way, I usually sign with my name, but have gone anonymous this time. Reasons should be obvious.

    • Dear the other SK: Well done my friend!!! Thank you SO much for helping them out, and I feel exactly the same way you do about donations going to the middlemen along the way. That’s why I love supporting Springs of Hope Kenya. I know Molly, the woman behind it all, personally and she has an amazing heart for these kids. Thanks again for your generous donation—-it really makes a difference. :-)

    • Thank you for saying this. I too am very careful where I donate. It means a great deal to me that Scott knows these people personally and knows every dollar goes directly to the cause. Thank your for your donation, and thank your for being sure the money goes where it needs to go!

      Janine

  17. This is important work worth supporting and being associated with. Even before I read this post I decided that I was going to support water charities in Africa next year. Check my link for more info.

    Thanks for getting involved Scott and I plan on renewing my NAPP membership when it’s time because I support both the issue and companies that get involved.

    Well played sir!

  18. In a society that takes everything she can from us, projects like this deserves all of our support. For me this article came in a day that I was writing a post for my own blog that talk about being more a giver than a taker. I place here the same words that start that post. “”…It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35. I already give. Beans on the way. Merry Christmas for all.

  19. Thanks Scott, and your angels, for continuing to raise awareness of the needs of others. We picked out some hens, meat, and rice for the kids. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to give to others. Merry Christmas!

  20. Big shout out to Rob, Scott, Troy and everyone involved. Helping others – particularly children – is what it’s all about.

  21. 2 hens — the gift that keeps giving :-) Thanks Rob, Troy, and Scott for really making a difference!

  22. Happy to help Scott – I know you put your heart and soul into this project and the gifts we give are literally chicken feed to us but life to them. Thanks for reminding us to care about someone other than ourselves once in a while :)

    My gift is on the way and I will suggest others join the effort!

  23. Thanks Rob, Scott and gang for helping the kids. 40 lbs. of beans are on their way.

  24. Thanks for the nice words. I didn’t expect such a public pronouncement. I was raised that you do what you can when you can…

    I’m very thankful for Robb for thinking of me for this project!

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