Beautifully Empowering Fundraiser Held in Chicago For OMID August 15, 2018 by Kim Maloos Khonsarian recently organised a fundraising photo shoot in her home town of Chicago to benefit OMID. Here is why she did this and how this inspiring idea came to fruition. “Two years ago, when I still lived in San Francisco, one of my best friends introduced me to the OMID Foundation, an organization which helps with disadvantaged women in Iran by empowering them with social and economic competence. I contacted Marjaneh Halati to learn more about the Foundation’s methods and goals. She sent me a documentary which neatly introduced the foundation and their philosophy. Watching the documentary was very eye-opening and motivated me to play a part of this endeavor and help my fellow Iranian women back home. One way I could contribute to this genuine effort was to run a fundraising photoshoot event. Unfortunately, around the same time I had to move to Chicago, and lost the opportunity to contribute as much as I wanted to. Finally after two years, I found the perfect time, this summer, to do what I have had in mind all along: having a fundraising glamorous photoshoot event! I made a Facebook event page and invited Iranian women from around Chicagoland. As the word got out, three other women showed their interest in contributing as hair and makeup artists as well as a fashion designer who makes trendy hats and head pieces. All I required from the participants was to put on their nicest dress and pose in front of my camera; they had to show up to my studio as though they are going to attend in their best friend’s wedding! Each person had a 20-minute slot to be photographed. I instructed them with different poses based on their body-type, make-up style, and outfit. I was glad to hear later from some of the participants that they really enjoyed themselves, and that they’d never had such an experience. One participant said that she never considered herself a beautiful woman until that day. Hearing a woman becoming confident about her own beauty was all I could hope to accomplish in that event. And of course, the $830 funds that were raised were very reassuring. I am planning to do this every year, and hopefully we would have a chance to have the same event in Tehran, photographing every OMID girl!” We wish to thank Fashion designer Nazia Zamaniad and Make-Up Artists Morvarid Dehnoo and Elham Khani. We also thank Maloos, from the bottom of our hearts, for creating such a generous and empowering fundraiser and for sharing the following photos from the event. If you are interested in supporting OMID in your community and have a unique, fun and creative fundraising idea then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.