When photographer Liz Mollica heard about the Front Steps Project, she knew she had to become a part of it.
“The project was originated by Cara Soulia and Kristen Collins in Needham,” she said, explaining the simple, yet impactful way photographers are giving back to their communities. “The way it works is that photographers offer to take portraits of family members and friends on their front steps from over six feet away. The subjects are given digital images and, in return, instead of paying the photographers for their service, they are asked to make a donation, of any amount, to the charity or business of the photographer’s choosing.”
Last week, Liz donated $1,330 to the South Shore YMCA, as her charity of choice for the week. “I was chatting with my dad, who volunteers regularly at the Y’s Germantown Neighborhood Center in Quincy. He mentioned the food bank, and right then and there I was sold.” She put a post together on her social media platforms, and before she knew it, she was photographing folks in the Quincy and Dorchester communities.
“I came across so many folks with amazing stories,” she said.
“My bachelorette party was supposed to be this weekend,” said Liz’ friend Jessica, who was photographed with her fiancé Lawrence, “but for obvious reasons needed to be postponed. However that didn’t stop me from celebrating. This gave us a chance to feel like we could make a difference even in a small way, and a reason to get dressed up even with no place to go. We are appreciative of the things we have and are able to do during this scary and stressful time.” One friend, Jen, chose to have her picture taken with her pet fish, Paco.
Dan Morgan provided one of the most powerful stories. A Nurse Practitioner at the Lahey Clinic, Dan chose to be photographed with a photograph of his wife and daughter. He told Liz why. “I miss my daughter Ally, who is no longer here. I miss my wife as she is on the other side of the planet in Baghdad. I could just sink in nothingness, but I want people to know in this world of pain and suffering that I care, and that Ally would want us to enjoy life everyday for her, because she was the definition of ‘be kind, be humble, be strong.’”
Liz has taken her project to her hometown of Abington to raise money for St. Vincent’s de Paul’s food pantry. Her goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of the month for various charities. She is accepting requests through her Instagram site @lizmollicaphotography.
The South Shore YMCA is operating two state-appointed emergency childcare sites, its food pantry and mobile food pantry in Quincy, and is providing temporary shelter for our most vulnerable at the Quincy Y. The Y thanks its many supporters who have generously donated to date, including many members who have converted their membership dues into donations, and greatly appreciates anyone else who can help ensure everyone has food during this difficult time. For a complete list of donors and to learn how to join them, please visit ssymca.org/stay-with-us.