Meet Olivia-Persimmon Lane Photography
If we all lived identical lives, we’d all love the same things, and have the same passions. But we all know that our journey shapes our lives, passions and experiences shape us uniquely. This is the story of Olivia Grace and her unique journey; she’s a rising tide, flowing through life with a kind heart and generous spirit. She’s touched the lives of hundreds of families, and she’s only 9.
Olivia’s generosity and kind heart was born out of her mother’s spirit, and hardships. As a baby, Olivia’s parents went through a textbook divorce – involving tremendous hurt and frustration. Just when things started to level out for her mother, Jenn, along came cancer. Olivia’s mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, just shy of stage 4. Miss O was just four years old and although young, she understood the heaviness of the diagnosis. She witnessed her mother endure Chemotherapy and recovery from a mastectomy. Olivia prayed for her mother’s life in the months that passed by. Jenn recalls that when other preschoolers were scribbling out various worldly possessions in their letter to Santa, Olivia’s note came home from daycare with just one sentence. “Dear Santa, This year I really want my mom to feel better! Love, Olivia”. For Christmas, two were embraced by those around them, making sure Olivia had a memorable Christmas. While they were grateful for the showering of gifts, her mom admits it was a bit overwhelming. As it turns out, Olivia got her Christmas wish; her mother beat cancer. As Olivia’s 5th birthday came, she once again was showered with an abundance of gifts. This was a turning point.
For her 6th birthday, they asked friends and family to bring new Pajamas and books in lieu of gifts to her party. They did this for 3 years in a row. Together they amassed a whopping 273 sets of Pajamas and books! As her 9th birthday approached, Olivia had a new idea. She wanted to donate to an animal charity this time. So, guests brought dog/cat food, leashes, toys and other items to donate to the Southern Maryland Rescue Angels. Though her mother started it all, the generous thoughts aren’t all her mom’s. In fact, the older Olivia gets the more she finds ways to give. One such example of her kind heart was simply hearing someone else going without. Her mother recalled “In 2nd grade Olivia overheard a boy in her classroom say his parents didn’t have the money to buy the “class t-shirt”, so my daughter quite literally gave him the shirt off her back.” The following year, remembering what happened the previous, her mother described what took place, “she asked if she could use her own money to donate an extra shirt to the class…she wanted to make sure everyone got one.” Olivia has also raised hundreds of dollars through established charities such as St. Judes, and American Heart Association. She’s walked, rode a tricycle, jumped rope and even hula hooped to raise funds. If there is charity work to be done, Olivia wants to be a part of it.
While Olivia’s giving spirit was initially encouraged by her mother, she continues to embrace it as a apart of who she is. This year she wants to celebrate her 10th birthday with a “smile carnival” to support the charity Operation Smile. If you aren’t familiar with the charity – it’s one where doctors donate their expertise by surgically repair the smiles in children born with cleft palates – money raised helps with the costs associated with the surgery. Often, these children are in poor communities around the world; countries lacking access to safe surgical procedures. Olivia beams with passion about her birthday vision and hopes her community will make donations and purchase tickets for the cause. She talks of face-painting, balloon animals, ring tosses and even “that silly game where you pull a duck out of a pond to win a prize”. She hopes as many families as possible will show up, and that this will be “the biggest birthday ever!”
In our society, we aren’t strangers to elaborate parties. There are plenty of kids wanting them, and eager parents throwing them. You can look just about anywhere online and find endless ideas and photos showing over-the-top themes. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a big birthday party – the birth of our loved ones truly a cause to celebrate! However, how beautiful is it that a child is compelled to throw a big birthday party because they dream of supporting a cause? How amazing is it to celebrate your birthday, knowing your “day” will have meaningful lasting global impact? Olivia is an amazing child making a difference in the world. For this reason, Olivia IS beauty revived.
Short Bio of Photographer
My whole life I’ve loved photography, but it wasn’t until my husband Justin and I bought a small farm in Calvert County, Maryland that I truly jumped in with abandon. Up until this point, I always believed my passion for photography would be dulled by it being my career – In truth, it ignited it further. These days I embrace photography like an old friend. I’d love to spend out the rest of my days photographing births, weddings and other exciting first moments that tell a story. I love to capture emotion without too much prompting. I’m also a huge sucker for black and white photos by the way.
I love cooking, sewing, scrabble, gardening, the outdoors (but not really bugs) in other words, I crave being involved with anything creative! I love spending my spare time (rare as that is) creating things and decorating our old farmhouse. I pretend to work-out at the gym daily. I stay up too late and wake up too early. I’m the best singer in my shower. I’m a 2x NICU mama with my two youngest boys born at 29 weeks, 18 months apart. I believe life is easier when you let go of the things you cannot control. Eat ice cream. My biggest love in life is people, and I’ve always been that way. A few of my favorites are my husband Justin and my 4 children – Gavin (18), Sommer (14), Xander (5) and Calvin (3). I love my dogs and cats too, but I sure do hate to vacuum.
You should know about me is that I named my business Persimmon Lane Photography because I t tripped over the phrase April Corey Photography. It didn’t flow right so here we are with PLP. Last, if the predictions are true, I’ll be the shortest person in my family, but I’m not even mad about it.
April Corey – Persimmon Lane Photography