12 Days Of Charitable Giving 2013: Flashes Of Hope

December 15, 2013  |  Posted by Kelly Phillips Erb

It’s the second day of our 12 Days of Charitable Giving! In December, I’ll be focusing on twelve charitable organizations which my readers have nominated as most deserving of your charitable donation. You have a couple more weeks to squeeze in you charitable deduction for tax purposes in 2013 – so why not consider one of our twelve?

Today’s featured charity is Flashes of Hope (

Flashes of Hope partners with professional photographers to take portraits of children who are fighting cancer. The organization was founded in 2001 by the parents of a child with cancer.

Here’s a sobering fact: cancer kills more children than any other disease. And 35,000 children this year are in active cancer treatment. That’s more than the entire population of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Every year, the organization provides free portraits to children with cancer in 55 cities across the country. Each family receives framed enlargements, proofs and a CD of the images. The idea is to help the children see themselves in a new light: the images are not of sick kids, but of strong and beautiful children filled with hope. The organization estimates that they touch about 7,000 children per year, photographing more than 50% of the children annually diagnosed in the United States – you can see some of those pictures in the gallery. Twenty-five percent of those children photographed will not survive.

And it’s not just the photographs that help the children. The shoots themselves are a welcome break from the routine of daily treatments. Flashes of Hope brings in stylists who give simple make-overs for the girls and mothers – many of whom haven’t left the hospital in weeks. It offers hope for kids and for their parents:

So how can you help?

The organization really relies heavily on volunteers. Click here to find a chapter near you. You can watch out a video about the organization – and volunteering – here. You can also sign up to volunteer at a shoot or help with fundraising.

And, of course, the organization relies on cash donations. You can send donations to the national office. If you want a personal touch, you can designate a specific chapter to receive your donations. If you’re looking to put your dollars where it would make a maximum impact, consider designating funds for the establishment of a new chapter at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is located in Knoxville, Tennessee and is the only comprehensive regional pediatric center in Tennessee. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital doesn’t have the funding right now to contribute – and donors are scarce. Your donation would make a tremendous impact in the lives of the families of pediatric cancer patients.

You can make a donation online or find a fundraising event near you like this cool runway show with cancer patients and stars from the Lake Erie Monsters and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Select Check reveals that Flashes of Hope is on the IRS list of qualified charitable organizations. To find out more about the work of the organization, check out their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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Donate now and brighten the lives of children with cancer.

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Send a personal appeal to your friends and family.