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City Hall exhibits United Way photos

POSTED AT 11:18 PM ON Sep. 11, 2012  (UPDATED AT 12:48 AM ON Sep. 12, 2012)

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Photographs of smiling faces and helping hands line a staircase in City Hall.

The photographs, taken by Kendall Reeves, help visually detail local nonprofit organization United Way of Monroe County’s newest campaign, Live United.

Reeves, owner of Spectrum Studio of Photography and Design and gallery406, has worked with United Way for many years.

“I got involved with United Way several years ago, donating photography to them for their brochures,” Reeves said. “The people in the photographs at City Hall right now are recipients of United Way’s fund with United Way staff and volunteers.”

Reeves has photographed people and places in Monroe County for more than 25 years.

His work has been in recent books including “Bloomington: A Contemporary Portrait” and “Terre Haute: The Crossroads of America.”

In 2011, his photographs were featured in the book “A Home of Her Own,” published by IU Press.

“Kendall is a true gem in our community,” Jennifer Hottell, United Way community engagement director, said in an email. “He has donated his amazing photography skill to United Way for at least eight years. He embodies the spirit of Live United by giving his time and talents to make our community stronger and more vibrant.”

Hottell said the photographs depict the daily lives of Bloomington locals.

“I think what’s really exciting about the photos is that they show community members making a difference every day as they live united,” Hottell said.

The photographs are separated into five groups. The first group features United Way volunteers and staff helping children paint, play with blocks and read.

Men wearing shirts emblazoned with the Live United logo were photographed as they cooked and carried fruit in the second group.

The third group of photos is similar to the first, focusing on children.

The last two groups portray United Way members involved in the community. Fund recipients featured in the photos vary from the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington to Stone Belt. 

“We just launched our fundraising campaign last Friday,” Hottell said. “It’s in the very early stages. However, I can tell there is going to be a lot of excitement surrounding the photography featured in City Hall and with the campaign in general.”

Despite being part of United Way Worldwide and the Indiana Association of United Ways, United Way of Monroe County is able to retain local control. More than 98 percent of donations remain in Monroe County.

“We are part of an international network, but we are run totally independently,” Hottell said. “We’re powered by dedicated volunteers, donors and staff that make everything possible. We are able to tie into the larger network for training and resources and are potentially able to borrow ideas from other cities and share our own success stories.”

Hottell said United Way’s focus is developing the building blocks of a better life. The United Way website reads, “Our partnerships create and sustain solutions that ensure everyone in our community has the building blocks for a better life — education, earnings and essentials.”

“I think it’s a great organization,” Reeves said. “It’s something you can give money to, one organization, that helps a lot of different projects with one donation.”
Hottel said when people live united, they choose to better their community.
“It reminds us all that when we think of others instead of ourselves, we can make a positive impact on the community,” Hottell said. “We change the lives of those who walk by us every day by living for the community.”

 

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