First of all, I want to thank all of my nominees. This was a very difficult choice for me and I wish I could giveaway to every single one. Thankfully, I had a panel of about 15 other photographers help me choose this winner and I am very happy to announce Laura and her family as the winner of this year’s GIVING IS AWESOME giveaway. I hope I can help replace some of these images that were taken from you!

Here was the letter I received from her mother, nominating her:

Laura is currently separated from her husband of 3 years. She left husband for verbal and physical abuse. She has 2 children. Max who is 6 years old and in 1st grade and Ella who is 13 months old.

Laura works as a hair stylist for 4 years. She went back to work when Ella was 6 weeks old because her husband was laid off.

Currently she is living in an apartment with her two children. She is barely making her apartment rent with one income.. Perry Township helped her with her December rent. Her husband is still not working and has paid absolutley no child support since they separated on October 16th, 2009.

He kicked her out of the house and she was allowed to take only the children’s beds and the washer and dryer. He kept the kids clothes. So Laura has had to thankfully accept alot of odds and ends from people to have furniture and clothing for the kids. She did borrow a Christmas tree from a friend and we took some donations of items to decorate the tree with. This Christmas has been really hard for her because she cannot afford to buy the kids a lot of presents.

One of the worst things is that her husband would not let her have any of the pictures of the kids. She had a lot of pictures hanging at her house. So she is bascically left with pictures we have extras of and also the pictures of Ella I just had taken by you. I know she would love to have pictures of the three of them together. Laura is a very hard worker. She works Tuesday through Saturday and often stays at the salon late . She relies on her tips to help pay for the extras that come along. She also does hair quite often at home on Sundays or Mondays for extra money for her friends.

So that is my story of my brave daughter who has finally left an abusive relationship with her husband. I am very proud of the fact that she recognized the abuse and got the kids away before any damage was done. Thanks Mandy for this opportunity. I think it is an awesome service you are doing.

January 1, 2010 - 12:50 pm

Emily - What a wonderful person to win a great giveaway! Super choice!

January 1, 2010 - 12:18 pm

Melody Stiles - What a nice Mom Laura has and such an inspiring story! Congratulations to Laura and Max and Ella:) Happy 2010 to them!

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