Although Jessica has been photographing preemies since 2011, the Believe in Preemies Foundation was established in 2015 as an IRS recognized 501(c)3 non profit organization to be able to continue to support the endeavors of Jessica’s work and expand on what we can provide to the community and parents through the healing art of professional photography in the NICU. With 3 board members, Jessica acts as the foundation’s volunteer executive director and will continue her role in a volunteer capacity. Although founded in 2015, getting the non-profit organization has been extremely slow going with limited funds however Jessica continues to volunteer her time in the Kansas City NICU’s funding necessary costs out of her own pocket so parents can continue to benefit from this healing tool. As we get the organization up and going, our goals are:
- Bring healing through these photographs to 1000 families by 2021 and grow beyond
- Cover all costs associated with providing this service to families as families will never pay for these sessions regardless of income
- Expand on what is offered to families in the form of keepsake albums, prints and more
- Partner with other prematurity related organizations to further unite families and advocate awareness
- Create inspirational Walls of Hope to NICU units for parents to see and feel encouraged by in the hospital during their stays
- Create inspirational art books sharing stories and photographs of babies photographed by gestational age so parents can read stories of hope in closer relation to their child’s gestational time of birth
- To expand on prematurity awareness and community, travel to all 50 US states visiting a NICU in each state and documenting the stories of the families there, bringing together a community of parents who may come from different walks of life but all have this incredible bond in common and how it has affected families in those areas. During this time a documentary would be made on Prematurity in America, from the low income families to suburban families, we are all alike.
- To further expand on prematurity awareness, travel to select countries around the world (such as South Korea and Canada was in 2014) and document different cultural approaches to prematurity and the families who it affects. Another documentary would be filmed as well as photographs of the different families in each culture and location.
We strive to be able to fund these goals through future fundraising, grants, corporate sponsorships and keep the organization volunteer driven as long as sustainably possible so that all funds would be able to benefit families and the NICU community as a whole.