Kirstin Wardrick of Annandale, Va., is a professional photographer and mother to two young children. Kirstin is featured as a “Mom Who Gives Back” because of her advocacy, support and dedication to the children of Haiti as part of her involvement in His Hands Support Ministries. Just this month she travelled to Haiti, as she does as often as possible, to volunteer her time and energy to promote this organization’s mission to offer education sponsorship opportunities to the children of Haiti.
I am a stay at home mom of two very active boy ages 4 and 2. I have always been interested in photography and in high school took a photography class from a photographer who had a dark room in her basement. I also ended up assisting her with weddings! I really stepped out last year with a lot of encouragement from some friends and have been building my business over the year. I love natural light and taking photos of children. I would say that photography has become my creative outlet and I love the freedom it gives me to stay at home with my children.
What is the organization you are supporting?
I support His Hands Support Ministries but even more directly the Haiti part of it. The organization was started on my first trip to Haiti and I fell in love with the people and the culture.
When did you first get involved and why were you inspired to join?
My parents had taken a trip to Haiti in 2001 and decided that each one of their children was going to travel to a 3rd world country to see what it was like and what the reality of life is for people there. They asked me to go on the trip in 2003 and I hesitantly went thinking that I would go and get it over with. Once I was there I was “bitten by the Haitian bug” as people say and I wanted to go back as soon as possible and help again.
Why is this cause so important to you?
First of all in just being supportive of what my parents are doing, but secondly in how transparent they run the organization. They will answer any question and go above and beyond to make sure that what they are doing is the best for the children. Also just the dire situations that these children live in. I will never forget walking around the town with this little girl and she wanted to show us her house. She was so excited to show it to us. We arrived and it was a little stick shack and she takes us inside and her father was curled up on a blanket on the floor dying. It hit me how this is completely normal for the majority of the children there. No education in Haiti is free and the average income is less than $2 a day. They don’t even have money to help their sick father how are they going to pay for school?
How do you balance your time with your family with your involvement in this organization?
The trips to Haiti are twice a year in spring and fall. I try to go as often as feasible but have had to take some time off when I had a baby or couldn’t afford to go as the organization is run 100% by volunteers, so we pay for our own trips.
Please share your hopes and dreams for the future of this cause?
I really would love to see 100% of the children sponsored! It would be amazing to think about all those children getting an education and all the little lives changing!
How can others get involved and support your cause?
Other people can sponsor a child at http://www.
hishandssupportministries.org/ for $50.00 twice a year or even fill out an application to go on a trip to Haiti! haiti/children
Why is giving back important to you and your family?
I think that children are not encouraged enough to help and I want my children to have a helpful attitude and to want to give back. I think that by me being an example and going to Haiti they can learn from it. Even though they are not old enough to go on a trip to Haiti they still learn all about it. I have my 4 year old repeating stories to others about what happened to me while I was there.
Connect with His Hands Ministry:
You can read more about Kirstin’s experience sponsoring a child in her recent guest blog post for Real Housewives of Northern Virginia.
Please nominate the next Mom Who Gives Back by e-mailing NicoleDash@gmail.com.