Skip to content

Help Portrait helps hundreds in Maple Ridge

Free family portraits were handed out to people who couldn’t otherwise afford to have one taken.
9698123_web1_171207-MRN-M-4SB_8642-1-
Members of the refugee family from Syria had their portraits taken at the 7th annual Help Portrait Ridge Meadows. (Contributed)

Help Portrait again helped more than 200 people this year, giving them free holiday portraits.

The annual event brings photographers, editors, hair stylists and makeup artists together for an afternoon of free portrait sessions for those who may not otherwise be able to afford to have a professional photograph taken.

This year, 227 people were served at the event. Four portrait studios were set up at Golden Ears United Church in Maple Ridge and more than 50 volunteers helped out.

Last year, there were more than 250 people who attended.

A refugee family from Syria came in all the way from Coquitlam to have a family portrait taken.

Two Help Portrait volunteers teamed up to provide the family of seven with transportation and car seats.

One of the volunteers, Juliana Shek works with the family through S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a non-profit, multi-cultural, multi-service centre that helps people who are new to Canada.

Shek arranged for a couple of her friends to drive the family to the event and then Shek and another friend gave them a lift home again.

“Then everybody pitched in. We gave each of the kids a school photo because they obviously never ever had school photos before,” said Garcia about the family that has only been in Canada for one year.

“They are a classic example of a family that would benefit from Help Portrait,” said Garcia, saying all five children got a school photo and then they received a family portrait.

“They were so appreciative. They were totally overwhelmed,” said Garcia adding that they wouldn’t have come except for the two volunteers providing them with the means to make it there.

Garcia says she noticed that this year more people seemed hungrier this year than in the past.

“The Salvation Army was very generous with their food,” said Garcia about the amount of food that was packaged to go.

Be Among The First To Know

Create a free account today, and start receiving free newsletters.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up


Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 15 years experience in the industry.
Read more