Christmas Wish 2018 – New Zealand

It is with great pleasure that I write my first blog post! And since one of the goals I have for my business is creating JOY, it is very fitting that this is about something that creates so much JOY!

A Christmas Wish, a subsidiary of The HeART Project, has just finished its third year – each year adding more kids. The aim of the project to create JOY for children, and their families, who are sick and in hospital around Christmas time.

This year, over 200 hundred sick children were photographed around the world – 10 cities, four countries…including New Zealand for the first time.

Christchurch Hospital Hospital and Starship in Auckland were the two hospitals included, and I had the privilege of being involved with both, and getting the initiative started in New Zealand.  Other volunteers included Kirsten Aldridge (Christchurch), Maria Buhrkuhl (Christchurch), Juliette Capaldi (Christchurch), Stig Elred (Christchurch), Kaye Davis (Auckland) and Emma McDonald (Auckland).  

Children and their families were photographed against green screen, then to their surprise, magically transformed into North Pole-esque scenes with Photoshop. Editors from all over the world helped with this effort. Charm Hauraki, based in Whangarei, had a huge part in this magic.

Having a little one be not well is tough on the family. Parents remarked at how grateful they were to have photographs created.

When their first child, Charlotte was little, the Trinnamon’s, a Rolleston (Christchurch) family, the had photographs taken of her. But with younger daughter Georgia being sick, they hadn’t been able to do the same for her. The family enjoyed a fun photo session, complete with Santa. Georgia’s tubes were photoshopped out during the editing process, and her dad, Andy, commented “now she’s just like her sister”.  Santa was even nice enough to personally deliver Georgia’s photo!

video credit – Emma Smart Photography

One wee Christchurch boy, Ryder, was scheduled to come in for photos, but was too sick on the day and flown to Starship. We were so happy to be able to photograph him on our Starship photo day.

One boy at Starship was too sick to come down for his photos, so his dad came. We created a magical scene where he discussed with Santa his son’s wishlist.

Master Photoshoppers from around the world were invited to participate in the project. Each created their own flavour of magic for a particular child.

We are so grateful to have created JOY for some families during challenging times. It is our hope to do so again Christmas 2019, and in even more hospitals!

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