20 Years of Giving

2017 represents the 20th anniversary of PPA Charities!

History In 1997, at the urging of PPA President Bert Behnke, the PPA Board of Directors established PPA Charities as a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization. This organization allows imaging professionals to combine their individual efforts to make an impact on the lives of children and families everywhere.

An initial fund-raising drive resulted in contributions that were invested as a perpetual fund. These monies are used to fund PPA Charities’ annual operational budget and reserve fund, which continues to grow through contributions and annual activities.

In 2005, PPA Charities Trustees invited Operation Smile to become its Charitable Partner. A perfect fit for photographers, whose daily business is creating smiles for their clients, Operation Smile’s mission is repairing childhood facial deformities including cleft lips and cleft palates. It costs only $240 to complete a simple cleft-palate operation because Operation Smile’s medical team volunteers their services. PPA Charities’ affiliation with Operation Smile provides PPA-member studios with an opportunity to show consumers they are part of a talented and dedicated group of professionals who work together toward a single charitable purpose: putting smiles on the faces of deserving children around the world.

In addition to our ongoing partnership with Operation Smile, PPA Charities is honored to also work with the following charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Below are the organizations and programs that we have committed funds to over our past 20 years of giving:

NILMDTS trains, educates, and mobilizes professional quality photographers to provide beautiful heirloom portraits to families facing the untimely death of an infant. We believe these images serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring the child’s legacy.

Tiny Wings Foundation: 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Often mothers feel ashamed, feeling like they can’t talk about it. There’s power in numbers and there’s hope in healing.

Special Kids Photography: The primary mission of SKPA is to represent special children to professional photographers in an effort to expand exceptional photographic opportunities to these unique children on a national level. This unique focus is accomplished through training, special photographic techniques and tools, advocacy and awareness.

Carolina for Kibera: A pioneer of grassroots participatory development, CFK leads a community based sports program, girls’ center, medical clinic, and waste management program.


PPA Affiliate Scholarship Program: In an effort to support PPA members and our Affiliate Schools, PPA Charities has established our Affiliate School Scholarship program. Each year PPA Affiliate Schools can apply for a scholarship for one of their students who is a PPA member. The school is entitled to select the recipient on any criteria they determine, our only restriction is it must be a PPA member


PPA Disaster Relief Fund — In September 2005, the PPA Board of Directors took unprecedented steps to assist photographers whose studios and homes were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. They did so through PPA Charities. The fund provided direct aid to PPA photographers, distributing $1,000 to each PPA-member studio directly affected by Hurricane Katrina. They also contributed $10,000 ($5,000 each) to its two state Affiliates in the hard-hit areas: Professional Photographers of Louisiana and Professional Photographers of Mississippi-Alabama. These Affiliates used the funds to directly assist their members.

Dando Amor – Dando Amor is a non-profit charity that helps orphans in Ecuador, Haiti, and Burkina Faso, Africa. Their goal is to raise orphans out of poverty through education and self-sufficiency training.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation: The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention, care, and treatment programs. Founded in 1988, EGPAF supports activities in 19 countries around the world.

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital: St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.


Together with all of these amazing charities, PPA Charities and our vast network of donors in the photographic community has strived to make this world better and brighter for children and families both in the US and abroad. It is our steadfast belief that giving back to others is not a luxury, but a necessity to make the world a better place.

Together, we give.

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