Making the Day is not so much my favorite because of its aesthetic value (although it is a great photograph) but rather because of the story behind it. In 2005, I went to Havana, Cuba with It's Just the Kids, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the needs of children. Fourty-nine volunteers traveled to the Caribbean Island to build playgrounds and I was one of them. In six hot days we built four incredible playgrounds in areas that really needed them. Children from the communities gathered around the sites while we selflessly built slides, swings, bars and other colorful structures for them. You could see the gratitude in their eyes as they peeked through the fences. Even greater, we had a ribbon cutting ceremony at the first site we built and everyone came, when we opened the grounds to the children, they came flooding in, trampling over each other. Hundreds of children so eager to play. The smiles on their faces were priceless. I remember one boy, probably around 10 years old, was so grateful to us that he chased our bus through the streets as we left to go back to our hotels, forever leaving our creation to him (and others, of course).
After thinking long and hard about my favorite creation, after sorting through my photographs, jewelry designs and other pieces, how could I pick anything other than Making the Day?
For more information on It's Just the Kids, Inc. and to see pictures of the playgrounds we built, please visit their website at www.itsjustthekids.org/cubasite.htm