Mary’s Place: They are living proof. Lives can be reclaimed.

I was rushing around yesterday as usual, just barely uploading files in time for a deadline and worrying about the next one. I was late for the Spring Benefit Luncheon for Mary’s Place. A few of my images from the Glamour Days portrait project were being displayed and I had been invited to attend as a guest.

I walked into Fischer Pavilion at the Seattle Center. It is a big, beautiful, brightly lit event space. In front of me were 5 or was it 6 of my images blown up large on display stands. How I do dislike being late! I found my seat just as Lori Matsukawa of King 5 news started the thank-yous. “Thank-you to Louise Lakier Photography for the Photographs”. I stood up shyly and waved. Wow. Neat.

I was treated to an incredible heartfelt performance during my lunch. Three beautiful young ladies from the SPU’s Theater department read three stories about women who have started their journey out of homelessness at Mary’s Place. The stories were about abuse, loss, unemployment, depression, mental illness, and hopelessness. But all three stories ended with promise and new beginnings. The subjects of the stories followed the readings, ‘this is my story’ they said. Powerful. I had photographed some of these ladies. They all shared one thing in common. At Mary’s Place, they had found their way again. I teared up during the stories and again during the performance of ‘Love is our Home’ by Rivers and Reeds.

I have volunteered countless hours throughout my life, for professional organizations, for wildlife centers, art projects, and saving the planet. I have never felt so appreciated and received so much gratitude as I have from this organization. It is time that could not be better spent. It is so rewarding to see the ladies smile, or giggle, or blush when they see their images on my camera. I am delighted to be able to be a part of their lives and share their beauty and their gift.

Scroll down for a few images from the last shoot already a month ago.  Moves and travels bumped me off course. Two more are scheduled in the next few weeks. Make-up by Ret Harrison.

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2 thoughts on “Mary’s Place: They are living proof. Lives can be reclaimed.

  1. Louise, I have been fortunate to be with the Mary’s Place women for the last six years. I’m so happy to see reflected in your photos what I see in these women every day — strength, resilience, and love. Thanks for seeing it too!

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