Well, it's official. Tickets have been purchased, partnerships have been solidified, and even the Mayor knows we're coming now. Things are moving right along.
In the last month, we've solidified our team selection, and are in the process of collecting biographies so that we can "introduce" you to everyone. For now, please take a look at our new tabs across the top of the page, and get to know our team.
Ask letters have been drafted, a bank account and PayPal account has been established, and we've begun the process of requesting financial support for our trip. Now. . .don't stop reading! Yes, we want your money, but not all of it. : -) Promise! We are asking for supporters to sponsor us on a monthly basis, as well as one time donations and in kind donations. Currently, we're partnered with North River church and the Vineyard Church of Tuscaloosa who are providing shelter, some of our meals, and helping us orchestrate our daily sessions while in the city. A big part of our needs have been met so that we can bless these families, but we still need your help!
Lots of people wonder exactly what their dollars go to when it comes to mission trips. I've created a break down here to help everyone understand just where your hard earned pennies are going.
Transportation - $620
This includes our travel to and from Tuscaloosa, as well as any driving around the city. I estimate 40 miles daily while in Tuscaloosa, and it is about 1200 miles round trip from Cincinnati to T-Town. This comes to a total of 1440 miles we are estimating having to drive. With gas at almost $4 per gallon, and we estimate a total of 155 gallons needed, bringing our transportation costs to about $620 (give or take)
Meals - $600-700
We'll have six or seven people on our team, and estimate about $100 per person for the week. This will include any meals we need to purchase for ourselves (typically McDonald's style meals) as well as items like bottled water, soda's, Gatorade (it's hot in Alabama, ya'll) and snacks.
Incidentals - $1500
This will cover items like air mattresses if we need them, first aid kits, extra car rental, extra batteries, printing for senior portraits, unexpected expenses (like tires, a hotel overnight if there are issues with travel)
Van Rental - $1000
We are trying to have a van donated for our usage, but if not, this is the cost to rent a 12 passenger van, which is the smallest we could use when you consider all of the gear that is necessary to bring.
Grand Total? $3820
This represents the total cost for seven people, travel included.
If you think of it this way - we'll have at least four photographers shooting for six hours a day. That's 24 sessions each, times four, so you're looking at at least 100 families daily. If we extend our time for an hour, we're looking at about 125 families that we're serving daily, times five days represents a minimum of 500 families. Each family receives a group shot, kids together, kids alone, and mom and dad together. These sessions normally cost around $150 per family. (that is an average charge per photographer). In all, these sessions would "cost" $75,000.
This doesn't include the senior portraits we're planning to do, (average cost, $495 per session) or any of the "extras" we're able to work in daily. We are planning to do around 100 senior sessions, bringing our total for senior portrats to $49, 500.
All in? We're offering a total package of $124,500 in portrait work.
Would you please consider supporting us? There's a donation button located at the bottom of this post, and you can give securely via PayPal. Alternately, if you're local to Cincinnati, any one of our team can come and pick up a gift. We're available to share with your church of civic organization too!