(KLTV) - It's the latest calendar gimmick and it's creating quite the buzz! We're talking about the Year of the Beard Calendar! It's the brainchild of Photographer Callynth Finney and Meagan Lissner from Moss. It's all part of a fundraising effort to help FORthe1, an organization that helps foster children in Smith County.
"I worked with the ministry Living Alternatives for 13 years and FORthe1 is a ministry of Living Alternatives. And so my heart is very connected," photographer Callynth Finney said.d.
FORthe1 helps the children in Smith County that may seem unadoptable because of their behaviors and great pain. FORthe1 disciples and ministers to the children. The missionaries show love and value to them in order to get them to a place where they can be in a family and be adopted.
Heath Hicks is just one of 12 Tyler businessmen who lent his beard and support for the calendar project. He says it's not just about helping the kids but the families too.
"People in a moment of clarity that decide I want to be one of those families can start the process of training and getting ready for it long before the child arrives," Avco Roofing owner Heath Hicks said.
FORthe1 has placed 80 kids in about 50 forever homes in the last 5 years.
"My husband and I adopted a little girl from the streets of Houston when she was four and a half and she is now 15. So we have walked through so much of that ourselves so we do trainings for families," FORthe1 missionary Jan Simmons said.
Here in Smith County, Simmons says meth use by parents is one of the biggest reasons kids are pulled out of homes.
"There is a lot of neglect with meth and so abuse says I don't like you but neglect says you don't exist. And so neglect can often be way more damaging than abuse can be so we see that very often with the children that we work with," Simmons said.
Simmons says most of the children have had to fend for themselves their whole lives.
"And so we really have to scoop these kids up and show them you don' t have to take care of yourself. You don't have to figure out food and clothing and all that stuff and you can just be a kid and smile and laugh," Simmons said.
And those that put this calendar together as a labor of love hope you get a laugh while helping to share the Gift of Love with children right here at home.
Calendars can be purchased on Facebook at www.facebook.com/callynthphotography/shop
or at one of the following locations:
Moss "Where Flowers are Fair"
Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ
Porch Culture Coffee Roasters
Stereo Video Center
True Vine Brewing Company
Sola Bread Company
Moon Rivers Naturals
The Foundry Coffee House