Giving Back

Giving Back

In February 2013 I traveld to Kolkata, India to work with survivors of human trafficking. I was invited by an amazing organization called Blossomy to teach photography. What I realized by the end of my time there was twofold.

Everyone’s story is worth telling, and artists have a unique talent for being able to facilitate that. These two ideas are the pinnacle on which Promoting Passion was built. I want to give YOU a platform to inspire others. You don’t have to have any clue about where to start, because this page will help you.

A constant theme that I run into is hearing from people that they don’t have the money to invest into charities and organizations, even though that is what those organizations desperately need. It is a catch-22 of wanting to help, but not knowing how, and so often nothing gets done. It is no one’s fault; it is simply a matter of not having the resources to get started.

If you are interested in donating your camera or laptop to the school I’m helping to run in India to benefit survivors of human trafficking and abuse…

Please email for information about sending equipment donations.

This page will stay updated with various charity organizations that you can easily get involved with. Check it out below!

The Light Space is a self-sustaining photography school to benefit survivors of human trafficking in Kolkata India. It is a partnership between Brooke Shaden, Blossomy, and New Light India.

Blossomy provides creative workshops for survivors of human trafficking in Kolkata, India.

 Kolkata Sanved serves to empower lives through dance and is based in Kolkata, India.

Cameras For Kids Foundation, Inc. has been created specifically to provide underprivileged teens living in Foster Care the opportunity to have a camera and learn basic concepts of art and photography while fostering self esteem, self confidence and offering a skill set.

SHAMA, Inc. is committed to empower women and families, primarily in India, without regard for religion, race, caste or creed, through programs of our own and in partnership with like-minded organizations.

The 88bikes Foundation endows bicycles to girls throughout the world, especially the heroic survivors of human trafficking.

Beautiful Together works to improve the quality of life of children waiting for families, and shine a light on children living in foster care, group homes, or orphanages through a combination of professional photography, video profiles and social outreach.

one life international

One Life International partners with communities to act against poverty. From water to healthcare and education to business development, we work with local leaders to create environments for healthy and happy lives.

Life Vest Inside equips people worldwide with the necessary tools to recognize their own potential to become a catalyst for positive change in the world. We transform inspiration into action through inspirational media, technology, education, and on-the-ground social engagement.

Help-Portrait is an initiative by Jeremy Cowart in which creatives can donate their time once a year to do photo shoots for those who may not have had the opportunity before.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is an organization started by Sandy Puc that sends photographers to give the gift of remembrance to those suffering the loss of a baby.

Tribe Photo is a an organization lead by James Kell that gives people the opportunity to rent cameras, learn photography, and sell their best work. The world gains unique images in the process.

Dando Amor

Dando Amor was founded by Travis & Jennie Gugelman and Lori Nordstrom to help bless the lives of orphans in Ecuador and Burkina Faso, Africa.

The Aasha Fund

The Aasha Fund began in 2011 after the adoption of Jed & Vicki Taufer’s daughter in Nepal and seeks the purpose of funding longevity, helping needy families and children forever.

Daughters Rising is a nonprofit organization that works to prevent sex trafficking by empowering at-risk girls through education, training programs, and scholarships.

PPA CharitiesOperation Smile

PPA Charities partners with Operation Smile to provide free life-changing surgery for children and young adults who are suffering from facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Exhale to Inhale empowers survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to reclaim their lives through the healing and grounding practice of yoga.

Thirst Relief International

Thirst Relief International creates access to clean water around the world. Photographer Jim Davis Hicks acts as the chief visionary officer.

Workshops with Purpose

Workshops with Purpose exists to equip media professionals with opportunities to grow their craft while serving in a global environment, immersing themselves in other cultures and realizing the power of relationships and storytelling in their business and personal life. Kevin Kubota, Benjamin Edwards and Andrew & Marianne Nicodem are the photographers behind this project.

Flashes of Hope

Flashes of Hope provides free portrait packages to families with children undergoing cancer treatments. The images are not of sick kids, but of strong and beautiful children filled with hope.

F.I.L.M. Project

The F.I.L.M. Project is a collection of nationwide photographers gifting professional family portraits to those who have a limited time left with their loved ones due to a life-threatening illness that can no longer benefit from curative treatment.

Tiny Sparrow Foundation

Tiny Sparrow Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing lasting memories through the beautiful art of photography to the families within the United States of America with children who are facing life threatening illnesses.


Operation: Love ReUnited offers professional photography sessions to military families and members who are getting ready to deploy, who are currently deployed, or those who are coming home.

The Gold Hope Project

The Gold Hope Project is a group of international photographers that have come together to photograph families completely free, with the hopes of bringing about awareness of and raise funds for Pediatric Oncology Research and treatment.

Red Thread Sessions

Red Thread Sessions celebrates the beauty of adoption through photography after two photographers (also adoptive parents) felt a need in their communities to capture the fleeting stages of new families.

Heart Gallery

Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic and audio exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. The Heart Gallery of America is a collaborative project of over 120 Heart Galleries across the United States designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes in our community.

Soul Society

The Soul Society is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to caring for poor, homeless and orphan children in third world countries. It was founded by world-class photographer and educator, Jerry Ghionis and his wife, Melissa Ghionis.

Uganda Farm is an agriculture training & marketing framework aimed at helping rural smallholder farmers in eastern Uganda to start up and run viable agriculture microenterprises that can lift them from extreme poverty in a self sufficient manner.


American Child Photographers Charity Guild was founded by Erin Drallos of Footprints Photography and provides free portrait services for children who are critically ill. An organization name change and new website have been announced to be coming soon.


Have a charity you’d like to see featured? Leave us a comment and we’ll take a look!

This list has been assembled by Brooke Shaden and Amy Parrish.We have not done our own, independent research for most of these groups (something we urge everyone to do before donating either time or money), so keep in mind that this is not a personal endorsement for these organizations: We’ve simply gathered text and mission statements directly from their websites so you can decide which groups you’d like to look into further.

25 thoughts on “Giving Back

  1. Hi Brooke,
    I just stumbled upon your work through one of my aspiring proteges I was working with the other day that had you down as one of their favorite artists of inspiration.

    After checking out your work and the narrative nature of what you do, in addition, the “giving back” and motivational speaking you do I thought we should meet. We seem to lead parallel lives. I, too, am working on two books and do motivational speaking throughout the country about “Drawing a line from your life to your art…” Here’s a quick clip of some of it and me:

    Look forward to talking sometime, and perhaps working together in collaboration some way, or perhaps speaking at some venues together.

    Keep up the great work and best wishes on a great workshop this weekend for you,

    Michael Bell
    Twitter & Instagram: @mbellart

  2. Awhile ago I wrote to you on this topic, and the topic of mentoring (to find the union of creativity and philanthropy, etc.

    I am one of those people who so want to make a difference, but having no resources (I’m unemployed even!)…. so I started blogging on the topic of #1000smallways…trying to think of ways that people can make a difference in small ways. My dream is to make it a bigger platform for stories of people doing small things that make big differences, but I haven’t figure out how to find those stories yet.

    So for now, I’m gathering inspiration however I can, and sharing whatever lessons and ideas I come across.

  3. Dear Brooke,

    I’m a 20-year-old Photographer from the South of Germany and I’ve been following and admiring you and your work for a couple years now.. Your work is so inspiring and powerful and since you started this website you’ve been motivating me even more as an artist!
    I’m writing to you today because I was wondering if there is any possibility to do some kind of volunteer work at this great organization in India you promote: The Light Space.
    I would really love to promote it….to give something back.

    (Sorry, I couldn’t find your email adress)

    Thank you for being the inspiring person you are,

  4. Brooke,

    Are you still looking for donated cameras for your school?

    I have a Nikon D300 with a Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens. Would this be suitable for your needs?


    1. Hi Stephen! Yes absolutely, that would be AMAZING! I will be in touch with more info. Thank you so much!!

  5. I have an old point and shoot, canon SD870 IS, with battery and attachments.

    Can you use that for you program in India or elsewhere?

    I also have a vivitar 285 HV zoom Thyristro vari power which has never been used.

    thank you.
    Please let me know as soon as possible
    I would ship it.

    1. Hi Sandy!

      Yes that would be so wonderful! My assistant will email you with shipping details. Thank you so much for your generosity! The gear will be put in very good hands 🙂


  6. Hi Brooke,

    I just recently came across your work via the artolution website, where the founder talked about using one of your photographs for a large mural that was painted. I run an organization called Infuse Gallery. We are an art gallery with a social mission. We partner with several different non-profits who promote social change through the arts (please see the homepage video on the website, it explains it much better than I can here). All artists who sell their work in the gallery donate a portion of the sale to a nonprofit, which is match by Infuse Gallery. As well, we specifically partner with nonprofits that promote the arts in order to give gallery space to artists and photographers in the gallery who would not otherwise receive it. Currently we work with the homeless community, adults with developmental disabilities, and girls in central Asia.
    I’m very intrigued by your work in India with the girls that have survived human trafficking. in fact this coming spring we will be opening the doors of our new brick-and-mortar gallery with a large exhibition about people who have survived sexual abuse, allowing them to tell their stories, and find empowerment. What you have done with your girls could be a great collaboration with this exhibit, and raise some funds for the school! As well, your photography alone is amazing and would be a very welcome addition to the gallery if you would like to be a part of it.
    If possible, I would love to schedule a phone meeting to talk details and see if your projects would benefit from a collaboration with Infuse Gallery. Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing back from you!

    -Kyra Coates

    1. Hi Kyra,

      It is amazing to be connected with you. What you are doing with Infuse is fantastic. Thank you for reaching out to me and asking me to be a part of it. I would love to talk further. I just watched the video on your website – what a truly amazing endeavor. Let’d definitely talk further. You can email me directly here: and we can set up a time to chat!

      Thank you for being who you are. I am so inspired and grateful for this opportunity!


  7. Hi Brooke, I just stumbled across your Instagram and immediately went to your website. I love what you are promoting and your work is amazing. Would love to know if you are having another convention in 2017? So excited to have found such a beautiful network, and website of passionate people and ideas.
    Sincerely, Angela

    1. Hi Angela! Thank you so much for visiting! I am hosting a Promoting Passion convention next year. Details will be announced early in 2017, and I can’t wait! I’d love to have you along!! 🙂 -Brooke

  8. Hi Brooke!
    I learned about you via Laura Price. I’m also a photographer / filmmaker living and working in Chiang Mai. I founded the Good Karma Projects and led a volunteer based yoga retreat / documentary filmmaking bootcamp for women, wehre we made films about and by women in northern India.

    Laura mentioned you might be interested in incorporating video production and filmmaking into your 3 month vocational training for young women in Chiang Rai these next months.

    Im interested and also hire assistants and have internship possibilities for those who want to work in the field as camerawomen.

    Would love to hear more about your program!

    very best,

  9. Hi Brooke,
    I just wanted to reach out and say what an inspiration you are. I’ve purchased your book and one of your programs on creative live. You are such an amazingly genuine and generous soul. Thank you for sharing yourself, your work and your techniques with everyone.

  10. Good Afternoon,
    I came on line today to sign up for the 15 day challenge but I see its been closed off. I have been saving up some money so I could participate and just when I had some I seen its closed. I really wanted to participate in this amazing opportunity. I am an artist and photographer finishing off my Honors year at uni and trying to get myself out there more> I felt this was a great way to share and be inspired while learning as much as I could and be able to pay what I could afford. I’m devastated Ive missed registration! Is there anyway to still take part?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Danielle, I have added you to the challenge and you will receive emails each day at 5:00AM PST 🙂

  11. Hi Brooke, I caught up with a photography friend for the first time in several months. She told me about meeting you at the Yervant Symposium last year and then about your 15 day challenge. It sounds like what I exactly need at this very moment. I’m really hoping to squeeeeeeeeze in at the very last second. Thanks in advance, David 🙂

  12. Hi Brooke 
    I recently came upon your website and was amazed by the work! Im writing you regarding the Israeli Photography convention as one of the producers and We are the largest photography school in the Middle East. We would like to check the option of having you as one of our guest speakers. This year the convention will take place on November 2018 in Tel-Aviv with 2,600 participants as we will be hosting 6 different photographers from Israel and abroad. The main Idea is to inspire the audience with the amazing stories and everything thats behind your photography 
    Please let me know what you think so we can further discuss the convention details over 
    .the phone/skype 

    I will be very happy because I was very impressed by your work 

    Short video from last years conference: 

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