October 7, 2013
A Charlottesville photographer is using his camera to raise money to help the youngest victims of domestic abuse. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell is featuring Robert Radifera. He's sponsoring an event called Jump for Joy and it's helping the children's program at the Shelter For Help in Emergency.
"It's amazing shots of children jumping. When you're jumping, you can't help but show your true emotion. You're super happy and there's nothing you can hide when you're jumping," said Robert Radifera, Organizer/Photographer, Jump for Joy.
Kids and parents get to smile, laugh and have fun flying in the air. Each jump also helps to raise money for youth programs at the Shelter for Help in Emergency in Charlottesville.
It's a safe haven for domestic abuse victims in the area. It's also a place that has a special meaning to this photographer after losing his friend to domestic abuse.
"The shelter is near and dear to my heart. For me, I think every little bit helps and every bit of awareness helps. You may know somebody that is in a domestic violence situation that you just have no idea and being able to spread the word is very important," said Radifera.
"When people tend to think of the shelter they think of something very dark and dismal. The children at the shelter have been through some horrible experiences, but they are full of joy and ready to get on with their lives," said Sarah Ellis, Shelter for Help in Emergency.
Organizers say the proceeds from Jump For Joy will be put to good use.
"It's wonderful. It will go straight to our children's program to help us both with staffing needs and things that we need for the children whether it's books, computers anything that they might need to be getting on with their lives," said Sarah Ellis, Fundraising and Development Coordinator, Shelter for Help in Emergency.
Radifera has been snapping pictures for many years, but he's says there is something special about doing it to help others.
"Being able to share my love of photography with them and everybody else and for a very worthy cause is the best of all worlds for me," said Radifera.
Each year, the Shelter for Help in Emergency responds to nearly 1,000 hotline calls and provides close to 4,000 nights of shelter for 200 women and children.
This is the second time Radifera has put on the Jump for Joy event.