Lifetouch is the largest and most trusted family and school photography company in the U.S. The company is known for school pictures and yearbooks, but in 2000, Lifetouch decided to go beyond North America to serve communities in need around the world by starting the Lifetouch Memory Mission.
The Memory Mission enables Lifetouch employees and educational partners to travel across the world to provide volunteer services. Two current members of SAANYS have previously volunteered on the Lifetouch Memory Mission to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico: Brenda Torres-Santana and David Hoffman.
“If you want an amazing and life-altering experience, then I encourage you to apply for the Lifetouch Memory Mission. Your contributions will make it possible for children to have hope through the passage of education. The time that I spent in Dominican Republic is forever etched in my heart. Our cohort of servant leaders worked, played, laughed and cried as we worked together to build the school community.” said Brenda Torres-Santana, principal, Pinnacle School #35, and 2017 volunteer.
The twenty-year-old Memory Mission tradition will continue in 2023 as volunteers plan to build a bottle schoolhouse, constructed of reused non-biodegradable materials, in rural Guatemala. In many communities where only ten percent of the population attend middle school, a bottle school provides a dry and clean structure for children to learn.
“We are excited our next mission not only brings resources, education and hope to a community in Guatemala, but is also focused on sustainability. The creation of the bottle school will impact generations to come. The volunteers will bring back life lessons and learnings they can share with their students and community.” said Jan Haeg, Lifetouch Community Relations Manager.
Members of SAANYS are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is September 12, 2022. Lifetouch will have a random drawing for about 45 volunteers to include educators and eligible company employees for the January 18-25, 2023 trip.
“For me, the Memory Mission was about helping those who are not as fortunate as we are here in the US/Canada and experiencing their joy and appreciation for the work we did. The relationships that were built in one short week with the families and the volunteers have been very rewarding and created lifelong friendships. I loved every minute of the experience,” said David J. Hoffman, assistant principal, Greece Athena High School, and 2019 volunteer.