It has been said that charity begins at home. That is definitely true for Findlay photographers and world travelers, Eric and Jessica Leszkowicz. This artistic couple owns Keepsake Portraits and are rearing their children, AnnaGrace (15) and KaraLynn (8), not only to see how they can help local nonprofits but also to assist people around the world.
Close to home, they spent Mother’s Day together as a family doing a fundraiser for Hope House, providing complimentary photo portraits for mothers and their children. Other activities have included decorating trees for the American Cancer Society, volunteering for Vacation Bible School, providing portraits for the American Red Cross and doing a fashion shoot to raise awareness and funds for Cancer Patient Services.
In December 2017, the family traveled to the interior jungles of Mexico to film a documentary of the completion of a ten-year film project for Bibles International. For 2018, Myanmar and Asia have been destinations for documentary filming as well. The end of September will see Jessica serving as the Creative Consultant and Eric as the Still Photographer for an independent film, headed up by a non-profit in France!
Meanwhile, their children are submerged in philanthropy and new cultures, creating a lasting impression. They try to buy memories, not things. Each trip is an adventure, one they write along the way, and the location doesn’t matter as much as being with each other and doing things together.
Jessica holds a degree in education, which helps with keeping her children on pace with their studies while traveling. Communication with teachers in advance of travel is a must, but being prepared as a parent, to teach about cultures, history, language and currency exchange all enrich the children’s studies.
The Leszkowicz family has two favorite sayings as they travel – analyze and adjust to every situation and, especially when in ministry opportunities, you must give up your rights and expectations in order to be a blessing to others and have a servant’s heart. When they keep their focus on the eternal, their fears and inhibitions melt away as they seek to first listen, second understand and then to lend the hands that are needed.
Early mornings, late nights, unfamiliar foods and frequently unconventional meals and mealtimes can be challenging and require flexibility. Often working from before sunrise to well after sunset, the Leszkowicz family realizes the long days are well worth being able to share their time, skills and artistry with those around them, and around the world.