This family. Where do I even start? I have been photographing them for over a decade and we've been friends even longer than that.
(flashback circa 2011)
You might recognize their names or faces. They've been dubbed the "kindness brokers" here in Oregon City and I think the name fits them perfectly.
About 5 years ago, Tom and Brandi joined up with an amazing man named Dave McAdams who was providing clean laundry, love, and hope to neighbors in need through a nonprofit he started called LaundryLove Milwaukie. A few years later they decided to change the name of the nonprofit to LoveOne, to better encompass their mission of loving one person, one family and one community at a time through clean laundry, personal care resources and community connection. Those were the tangible needs being met, but Dave's heart and love for others made it so much more. Sadly, Dave lost his battle with cancer in January of this year and left a huge hole in the hearts of many people. I only knew Dave for a short time but his love was contagious and I know I'm not the only one who feels like I'm a better person having met him.
Brandi knew she had some enormous shoes to fill when she took over the executive director position from Dave last fall, but the LoveOne board and volunteers already knew she was the right one for the job. Her and Tom's genuine love for people, their desire and commitment to serve their community, and the love they have for their neighbors and friends is insurmountable.
I joined the LoveOne team of volunteers a little over a year ago, so not only do I get to read her encouraging posts on social media every time they hold an event, I also get to witness first hand the kindness and sense of community and belonging that is created at each of the laundry events that they facilitate.
If you'd like to read more about what LoveOne does and how it impacts our community,
you can check out some of our event updates here:
Since the Johnson's lives are so full of laundry these days, I though it would be fun to take their family photos in a laundry mat, and I absolutely love how they turned out.
Their smiles are contagious as is their love for people. Spend even a small amount of time with them and you'll know what I mean. They are self-less and giving, generous with their time and resources, and as I mentioned in the beginning, they are "brokers of kindness".
They have a gift for matching peoples needs with the generosity of the community around them. I've seen them rally their friends and neighbors to provide clothing, gas, groceries, and many other resources to local neighbors in need.
You, our community, has come together to provide steel toed boots, pillows and blankets, food and countless other resources to meet specific needs of the people who call this area home. Local businesses have volunteered to donate auto repair, furnace repair, and hair care when our neighbors have needed it the most.
Tom and Brandi, thank you for all that you do to serve our community and make the world a better place. I am honored to call you lifelong friends and to serve along side you.
If you would like to help spread the kindness, or possibly sponsor a night of laundry, head on over to our support page to check out the many opportunities we have for you to be involved: