Cameras for Kids is an incredible organization. As a NYC teacher, I watched my students become so excited about photography. Every week when I walked into the classroom, I had one of my students jump up to show me the photos that he took that week. At our end-of-semester exhibition, I was amazed by the quality of the work that the students created. I can't express enough how wonderful it was to see the students share their work with their friends and family, the students were so proud of themselves. I believe this experience will be something that they will take with them forever, and that most of them will continue to shoot photography.
Additionally, Betsey is such an inspiring leader! Working with her to achieve the goals of the organization was always seamless and fun. CFKF is making an incredible impact on the lives of children through photography, and I'm so glad that I could contribute to this amazing organization.
I am genuinely moved by the work Betsey Chesler and Cameras for Kids Foundation does for foster children and at-risk teens. As a professional musician and educator, I had of the immense honor of playing piano for one of CFKF's beautiful "gallery events". I saw firsthand how THRILLED the children were to see their very own photos displayed on the wall: in frames and professionally displayed in a REAL art gallery! The pleasure, joy and self-confidence these children gained from seeing one of their own works of art on the wall is something I will never forget. Betsey truly opens up the horizons for these children, and I am so very impressed with the work she does every day. CFKF is a truly unique charity as I do not know of any other organization that puts cameras directly in the hands of children so their emotions and feelings can be captured and blown up into a true realization of art and soul . God bless Betsey and CFKF! I hope this organization can reach an infinite number of children with its empowering message and uplifting activities.
I love seeing the work of these students. They are very gifted and talented. You can tell they put their heart and soul into each piece. It's the little things they also capture; a moment in time. I say, "well done!"
I love that their is a way for kids to express their art through pictures.
I love what cameras for kids stands for and everything they do for foster children. What a great organization!
So blessed to be a part of a wonderful foundation that helps foster kids explore their talents through photography. I've seen them bloom with each lesson and gain a Confidence they never had before.
I feel so honored to be a part of the Cameras for Kids Foundation in the Dallas area. I have seen firsthand the amazing changes that this foundation has brought to these foster children. It has changed their lives in more ways then I can count and love seeing them excited about photographing life's beauty. Betsey Chesler truly is an earthly angel and has a heart of gold. Please continue to support this wonderful Foundation and help us continue to make a difference! ♡ ♡ ♡
My cousin Esther Stein was asked to teach some young children about photography for your organization. She loves, loves, loves photography and had been doing it for over fifty years. She has been commissioned to shoot any number of weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, pets, still life, etc. And she is brilliant at the art form because she truly enjoys it. She undertook teaching these wonderful kids with that same joy and knowledge, and was genuinely suprised at the depth of understanding that the children had instinctively. Esther was so pleased to be able to show these children and to share her knowledge with them about the art of shooting a subject. The children responded in kind and developed skills that, even if they never take another picture after the classes, will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. Photography isn't just about point and shoot, it is about composition, patience, understanding how to apply the rule of thirds with respect to a shot. It is also about learning to be silent, be still, be courteous, be unobtrusive, and many more skills that they will need in their lifetimes. This class also took them to places that, in their normal lives they would not have access to for many reasons. Esther showed them about museums, buildings and people that they may never have had access to. She opened their eyes to other lifestyles other venues, to art and other areas. For the children and for Esther it was a win-win situation. This course is very worth while for everyone, children and staff because they all learned valuable lessons.
At Risk Children Giving them a visual voice through photography and actually changing their point of view: My friend sent me pics of her children, age 9 and 12 , a boy and a girl.
Their parents get home hours after they do They are lovely in every way and obese.
AT RISK CHILDREN so many definitions. Putting a camera in a child's hand so they can create and interpret with determination is so much more satisfying than cookies or nutter butter.
I first learned about Cameras for Kids in 2009 through Facebook, and I was instantly intrigued.
I know of no other charitable organization like it.
Through workshops and lessons, Cameras for Kids teaches children to "see" the world and not just "look at" it. Through everyone's support, it's creating artists in many communities across the country and beyond.
Betsey Chesler is truly a visionary leader in the arts. She's also the most large hearted mentor in south Florida.
Through the generosity of donors, she and her team provide cameras to children in foster care whose birth or foster families could never afford them.
Besides the gift of a camera, the children get an education in the art of photography and learn skills that will last a lifetime.
Most important, Cameras for Kids instills in young people skills that can lead them -- later on -- into careers as artists, journalists, or teachers.
It also fosters independence and self-actualization.
Yes, foster care provides stable and nurturing homes for many kids.
But one unfortunate side effect of the foster system is that the children often feel isolated and lonely and have no words to articulate these feelings.
I've attended three exhibits hosted by the Cameras for Kids Foundation. The images are always elegiac, dreamlike, sometimes hauntingly so.
It's hard to describe the beaming smiles and the wide eyes of the children as people stand in front of their exhibits in wonder.
I'll never forget the look on the face of one particular young lady who was absolutely overflowing with pride in her work as adults she didn't know were telling her how brilliant her photographs were.
I strongly encourage everyone to support CFK. Please attend an exhibit and be amazed.
My friend, Esther volunteers to work with the children in Toronto. I see some of the work by the students and they are remarkable. I also realise they are having fun with this class and what they learn will give them a groundwork if they choose to get into this field or just be great at seeing what the camera sees for their own pictures.
I don't think there is any other better learning venue than CFKF. Not everyone is privileged to follow their dreams or hobbies of photography yet CFKF provides exactly that. Not only does this non profit organization help youth by providing the necessary equipment, these youngsters also get a fabulous education, chance of exhibition and perhaps even another chance in life. Photography is a real art and having the chance to learn composition and seeing different perspectives opens up numerous possibilities to youth around the country. Hats down to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of the CFKF.
This organization cultivates and educates in an empowering manner, allowing participants (both teachers and students) to practice creativity, creation, and value art. No calculable value can be placed on what it means to empower others to express themselves. Cameras For Kids does this.
Cameras For Kids is an organization lovingly dedicated to inspiring young people to find beauty and strength within and beyond themselves. In changing the way we see, they are generating hope and creating a different and more positive world view. Bravo Cameras For Kids. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.
I became aware of Cameras for Kids Foundation while looking over a photo exhibit in the main hall of the Bank of Montreal building end of winter 2016. While chatting with Betsey Chesler, as all the photos were taken by children under 15 years, I asked her more about
the volunteer process.
I've worked free lance in Toronto for years. When Betsey said she could use another volunteer teacher, I told her it would be a dream come true.
I am thrilled to say, my students raised the bar when it came to following suggestions and rules. Best experience ever working with the boys and girls club in Toronto.
Never hesitate to give a child a way to see the world with their owns eyes and communicate their vision back to all of us. You're never alone if you have you camera with you! It's more fun than a basket of puppies.
In an age where so many people take cameras for granted with smartphones at their fingertips, it's encouraging to see an organization that supports today's youth to use cameras and the medium of photography consciously, skillfully, artfully, and wisely, in a manner that builds confidence, nurtures intelligence, enhances communication skills, and literally crafts beautiful visions of our world for generations to come. As a supportive follower of CFKF for more than three years now, I am always moved by the students' remarkable photography in exhibits and on social media, as well as by the heartfelt testimonials of those who speak about their transformative experiences at fundraisers each year. It's impressive to see (via the CFKF email list, Facebook, and Instagram) how the foundation is constantly launching new locations across the United States and internationally. At this writing, it's 34 locations, an outstanding accomplishment. Thank you, CFKF, for your unique and significant contribution—I look forward to seeing what great things you accomplish next!
My name is Kiki Baxter and I am a volunteer teacher for Cameras for Kids Foundation. In the course of a 6-8 week photography program, these children gain self-esteem, confidence, and they develop a new awareness of the world around them. Each child can look at the same scene and photograph something completely different, bringing value to their unique vision and creativity. CFKF also arranges opportunities for the students to meet real professionals in the industry and even exhibit their own work in professional settings. I love working with CFKF and cannot wait to begin teaching my new class this Thursday!
What better way to see the sparkle in the eyes of a foster child than to afford them the opportunity to achieve success through the lens of a camera and their own efforts.
This is the result attained by the "Cameras For Kids Foundation" program.
Imagine beginning with a group of children, who for the most part have only known adversity and eight weeks later at the conclusion of the CFKF photographic program these same children have a smile and a look of achievement on their face and a sparkle in their eyes.
When I first met Betsy I was convinced I was meeting someone special.
Being a photography based business, I have become acutely aware of the treasure that is hidden in photos.
For most, it is easy to unlock that joy and for most, they take that joy for granted.
Betsy and CFKF have developed programs that bring that joy to those that would not ordinarily be pricey to it.
I applaud her daily efforts and would recommend those that are looking for a very rewarding endeavor to join her in those efforts.
I've been traveling with Betsey and observing teaching sessions with the foster children. I get to see how stoked the children are to learn a new skill set, and to feel confident about their work. When we take them out on a photo shoot, their faces instantly light up with excitement. CFKF provides the cameras, teaching sessions, photo shoots, and more often than not, the children's work is displayed and celebrated in a gallery. The kids are so proud of the work that they compose, and they want to share it with others. CFKF aims to raise self-esteem in at-risk teens, and I've seen it happen in real time.
Cameras for Kids has been working with PACE for the past few years. This year, we have formed a Cameras for Kids Club at PACE because the girls are so excited about expanding their knowledge of photography and the hands-on experience that they are obtaining. PACE is a wonderful program for teenage girls in which we work to help the girls develop higher self esteem and protective factors in their lives. By working with Cameras for Kids, the girls actually begin to see the world from a different point of view. They see the beauty in everyday objects and refocus their attention to find the light. By engaging their artistic selves, the girls are transformed into true artisans and photographers. I cannot thank Betsey Chesler enough for bringing this wonderful program to the PACE girls. It is such a gift - as are our girls!
The photography students are in awe when they see their fine art photographs framed and hung in an art gallery. This moment reiterates all the skills the students have learned during the Cameras For Kids Foundation photography course. As gallery viewers compliment the photographs, the students gain feelings of self-worth and pride. Some students even share the deeper meanings behind their images, proving that a camera is a therapeutic tool used to express oneself.
Cameras For Kids Foundation is fully dedicated to bettering the lives of at risk youth in foster care.
Seeing the children light up when they capture a great photograph, is my favorite part of being a volunteer photography teacher with Cameras For Kids Foundation in South Florida. I am thrilled that the foundation continues to grow nationally and internationally - granting more children the opportunity learn photography, gain self-confidence and consider an artistic career in their future. CFKF offers a one-of-a-kind creative, educational and mentoring program that truly impacts underprivileged children and children in foster care.
CFKF is an exceptional organization created for at-risk teens. They have the opportunity to creatively use a camera and learn a unique skill set, therefore, raising self-esteem and providing an artistic outlet.
What a pleasure to work with an organization that fosters creativity for underprivileged children. So heartwarming to see children express themselves through photography and allow us to see the world through their eyes. Can't think of a better way for children to be encouraged and receive positive reinforcement. Kudos to Betsey and the entire CFKF team!
I have had the pleasure of working with Cameras for Kids Foundation for over 5 years now. I have helped with Fundraising, Events and Awareness. I have worked with MANY Charities and Cameras for Kids Foundation is by far my favorite. They are incredibly professional and have such a passion for what they do. I have witnessed first hand the impact it has had on it's students/children and it is AMAZING.
I only recently started working with CFKF as a volunteer, but I must say it has been an incredibly positive experience for me and for the children. Needless to say, I plan on continuing to work with CFKF and these children! The founder Betsey Chesler has been a pleasure to work with as well.
I first learned about this organization about three years ago, after reading about it in a magazine article. I was so impressed with founder Betsey Chesler and her incredible vision to help foster kids find their artistic side and create something they could be proud of. I knew I had to get involved.
I started first as a volunteer helping plan events, and last year I started assistant teaching some of the photography classes. Some of these kids have never believed they were good at anything. To see firsthand how the kids light up as they discover that they can become artists through photography has been so rewarding.
It's been even more rewarding to see the kids' reaction to their artwork hanging in local art galleries. This organization gives children – many who have never had a role model – someone to look up to and something to aspire to.
I am so proud to be involved in this organization and will continue to help it any way that I can.
I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be on the Board of Directors for Cameras for Kids Foundation for the past 4 years. During this time, I have had the pleasure of associating with many wonderful volunteers for this very worthy organization which I have seen grow from its infancy to a global phenomenon. It is amazing to see both the commitment and energy of these volunteers, especially its leader, Betsey Chesler, and how these attributes are utilized to provide a method of expression to underprivileged kids which, in turn, results in a higher level of self-esteem. I would urge anyone interested in volunteering or donating to contact our Foundation for further details. Thank you for your anticipated support!
I am honored to have been selected to serve on the Board of Directors for this wonderful organization a short time after its inception and have seen firsthand what a difference its purposes and methodologies have made in the lives of numerous kids in distress. There could not be a better person at the helm than Betsey Chesler due to her vast experience in photography, as well as her personal perspective, enthusiasm, and perseverance. I would urge anyone out there who is interested in improving our society's future through investment in these kids, whether by direct personal involvement or donation, to reach out to us - thank you!
The Cameras For Kids Foundation does an outstanding job of teaching disadvantaged young people how to be photographers. The program instills a sense of purpose and accomplishment in those who participate. Betsey Chesler has a gift for working with these children, and is clearly enriching their lives through this program.
I'm proud to sit on the board of this incredible organization dedicated to the emotional and educational growth of foster care and underprivileged children. These children are learning the components of fine art photography in addition to seeing the world through new eyes, finding beauty in the obvious as well as the mundane.
CFKF is an incredible non-profit giving disadvantage kids the opportunity to learn a skill and art that creates confidence and an artistic eye that can offer children/ teens a new direction in life. Betsey, the founder, has the love and drive that will further grow this non-profit. I'm extremely proud to be involved.
Cameras for Kids is an amazing organization dedicated to working with children who would otherwise not have this creative and empowering outlet. I have seen the confidence it brings and the focus it teaches. A wonderful program.
CFK ran a 6 wk program at Milagro Teen Center that still pays dividends. The gift they gave my kids was more than the ability to take photos. The instilled a new way of SEEING! The kids also found form making their vision instantly tangible. The prints they created adorn the walls of our center and are a great source of pride. Instructor Jane taught with great enthusiasm and was easily one of our favorite visiting artists. CFK was an awesome addition to our programming!
i am amazed at the energy and staying power of Betsey, the founder of this non- profit. The passion and drive is carried over to the instructors and the students of photography. The best part is the kids walk away confident with their talent!
Cameras For Kids was founded by a dear friend of mine who wanted to share her passion with photography with at risk kids. Betsey learned herself that photography opened her heart and mind to the possibilities around her; she wanted the at risk children to find this experience themselves. Teaching photography to the kids and helping them grow and develop self esteem was the goal of this organization. The children have blossomed, many have taken their life stories and through photography; have expressed their personal life experiences through this medium and actually had their pictures hanging in a gallery for viewing. Voila!!! Success! They will have this knowledge the rest of their lives! Laurey Hallson MD
I have been involved with Cameras For Kids Foundation for three years as a volunteer photography teacher and as a board member. Teaching photography to children in foster care provides the children with a creative outlet, a new skill set and inspiration for future career paths. CFKF's program is designed to challenge, mentor and foster self-esteem in underprivileged children's lives. While CFKF continues to expand, the nonprofit organization maintains strong connections with the photography teachers and students who are involved.
Cameras for Kids is doing amazing work reaching youth at risk and giving them direction and confidence!
This summer I got the opportunity to help bring Cameras For Kids Foundation to Canada when they launched their first every International program in Quebec, Canada. The experience was absolutely amazing. To see kids get excited about something new was nothing short of incredible.
To see kids light up at the spark of their own creativity … To see them go from “So what?” to “Wow! I did that!” … To see them realize that there’s something unique and valuable inside each of them … This is what I’ve seen with Camera for Kids.
The program is phenomenal and Betsey Chesler is an outstanding leader. I’m very happy to be part of what she’s created.
An amazing program that provides hope to our foster children nationwide
As a Guardian Ad Litem working with teens, I have personally observed the change in some of those children, their attitude, and desire to participate can only be credited to the instructor s and the program. The kids are very proud of what they are producing with their new founded art.
I thank you Mrs. Chesler for you kindness while others kept looking the other way!
Our Keller Williams Market Center in east Boca Raton chose Cameras for Kids Foundation as the beneficiary of our annual RED DAY community service event after meeting Betsey and being inspired by the amazing work she is doing with underserved children in our community.
Betsey teaches photography skills which gives these children a personalized education, fostering a love of the arts, along with boosting their confidence, connecting them in a new way to our community, and opening doors that they may never have approached. Having the opportunity to watch some of her students present their work at our RED DAY event was both touching and exciting as we saw how they blossomed in the recognition.
The passion and dedication of Betsey's growing Team embodies the type of non-profit organization our company chooses to support. We are excited to watch the expansion of Cameras for Kids around the world!
I am originally from the state of NY and came across Camera's For Kids Foundation online and quickly grew interested in the mission to help children and adolescents in Foster Care. I decided to move myself to the state of Florida to assist and intern at Camera's For Kids. The mission is very clear, I have seen and experienced first hand how Betsey and the volunteer photographers have impacted each and every child that comes into contact with the foundation. It gives them something to look forward to and something to be proud of. They do not have to continue their connection with art. It is not just about the photography classes, it is about being their for the children and influencing them and using photography to express their lives in a more positive and motivating way. It is very moving to see how these children open up and grow through out the time spent with camera's for kids. I cannot express enough how powerful the impact Betsey and everyone else involved with Camera's For Kids is doing for these children. Working and learning about Camera's For Kids has inpacted me to want to pursue a career goal in helping children in foster care, orphanages and others alike. I can only see good things happening to this foundation as it continue's to grow!
True measure of a philanthropist...If you are not sharing your talents then you become self absorbed! Betsey Chesler is blessed above and beyond because she gets what it means to truly give with no expectations. That is unconditional love! Betsey is constantly recruiting new volunteer teachers as opportunities arise, to target specific groups of children, teach them a new trade, while at the same time allowing them a form of self expression through the art of photography, until they find their forever home.
If you are interested in giving underprivileged kids a hand up and not a hand out, please support this non-profit organization!
I found out about Camera For Kids Foundation Inc. only after meeting Betsey Chesler through face book. I am not a photographer, but found that we had mutual interests in serving under privileged children. As a registered nurse, much of my background includes working with developmentally delayed children. The CFKF is devoted to nurturing and developing the creativity of children. This allows them an opportunity for self expression in a way that is therapeutic and healing not only to them, but allows others to see the world through their eyes. Equally important, it equips them with a trade and the life skills to be self sustaining with a renewed sense of integrity and confidence, regardless of their circumstances. I can't wait to see what this next generation of photographers has in store thanks to the selfless generosity of The Camera For Kids Foundation Inc.!
I had the wonderful opportunity to represent this charity at The OSCAR'S GIFTING EVENT in LA on Feb 21, 2013. I am an Entertainment Publicist. The interest from the Hollywood Community was overwhelming! A charity that gives cameras to Foster children, that allows them to capture life thru the lens as they see, and live it! Betsey Chesler, is an amazing woman, and advocate for these kids...providing a chance for them to express themselves in a way they would otherwise not have. Her efforts are tireless, and unending! I recommend CFKF to be the beneficiary of any special awards and funding available. This will help them gain the visibility and support they so rightly deserve.
My passion for photography combined with my recognition of the importance of nurturing disadvantaged children's artistic and creative ability has made he an avid supporter of the Cameras for Kids Foundation. Just seeing the smile on a kid's face when they realize that they can create something creative and beautiful and makes it so worthwhile. I would urge anyone looking for a way to help disadvantaged children to support CFKF.
I SPENT 20 DAYS WITH BETSEY IN SOUTH AFRICA. IT BECAME OBVIOUS TO ME THAT SHE HAD A GREAT PASSION FOR THESE CHILDREN AND A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF INSIGHT INTO THEIR NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS. SHE CONTINUOUS TO STRIVE FOR A SENSE OF INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS WITH EACH CHILD AND DERIVES TREMENDOUS SATISFACTION THROUGH THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Through the eyes of a child is much more than a cliche when those eyes have been encouraged, focused and trained by Camera For Kids. The organization and its founder, Betsy Chesler, merit the widest possible support, in both time from volunteers, and money from agencies and individuals. Betsy is one of those individuals whose dedication is not merely to the rhetoric, but also to the raising of both children and the consciousness of adults that images, symbols and the like can communicate across cultures, languages and bear positive fruit on a planet desperately in need of same.
Congratulations to Betsey Chesler for founding Cameras for Kids. She knows photography and knows what these at risk kids need. This makes for a winning situation. Her enthusiasm, drive and eye to detail has made the organization grow and succeed. Bravo!! My best wishes for continued growth and success!!
The Cameras for Kids Foundation (CFKF) headquarters is located in the same suite of offices where I work in South Florida. Everyday in the hall, framed photographs taken by CFKF teen photographers brighten my day. If the foundation director Betsey Chesler hadn’t told me herself, I never would have known that these photos were not taken by experienced professionals. As attentive, hands-on instructors, Ms. Chesler and her team not only help abandoned children discover their hidden talent, but go above and beyond by framing their images in a professional manner, helping the young artists hold a vision for themselves and recognize their potential. The photo quality is a testament to the organization’s authentic mission. These works of art are a constant reminder of the ripple effect non-profits are all about: how a sincere mission to improve the lives of others always improves our own. Being someone who sees Ms. Chesler regularly at the office, I attest to her dedication to CFKF, as she is constantly meeting with potential collaborators and inventing new ways to expand the organization and its reach. Recently Ms. Chesler even brought CFKF to children in Haiti, which is no easy task—this is just one example of how effectively she leads and how deeply she cares. For all these reasons and more, CFKF deserves all the exposure it can possibly receive!
I was searching for awhile for a South Florida-based organization to get involved in. I work with a magazine in South Florida and discovered Cameras for Kids Foundation after one of our editors wrote a story on the organization. I knew after reading the article that I had found "the one." In an area overflowing with non-profits, this one stands out. Founder Betsey Chesler has extensive experience in photography and the impact she has on children by sharing with them the art of photography is incredible. By teaching kids how to make artwork through a camera lens, this organization allows children who are starved of attention and affection to feel as though they have created something truly great. Cameras for Kids Foundation has changed the lives of the children it serves, and in turn, those children change the lives of everyone involved with the organization. I'm so proud to be involved with this organization.
SOS Children's Village has been honored to work with Betsey and Cameras for Kids for a number of years now. I continue to be amazed by the hidden talent and eye for detail that Betsey is able to coax out of our children and nurture into true talent. The first class was able to auction their photographs and they were stunned (as was I) by the reaction from the public to their art! Cameras for Kids has allowed our kids to look at the world from a different perspective, and has taught them how to translate that to their audience. A whole new world of possibilites (and potential career paths!) has been opened up to them thanks to Betsey and this wonderful organization. We wish her much luck and future success!!