Photos Capture Children's Holiday Wishes

Award-winning photojournalist Linda Solomon makes her living capturing the stars. But she's now focusing on some children desperate for stars to wish upon, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric reports.

At Salvation Army homeless shelters in Raleigh, N.C., and Orlando, Fla., Solomon gave about 30 children between ages 7 and 17 an assignment: To list their holiday wishes and capture them on film.

"I think so often it's so hard for any of us to express verbally what is so deep within," Solomon says. "But sometimes it's easier to express something that's so personal through an art form."

The kids were free to wish for anything, but their lists didn't include things like GameBoys or iPods.

"I wish for my family to be together," one girl wished. "I wish for a home," said another.

Twelve-year old Anneka Hooper asked for a college education. And for her mom? Eternal life.

"I took a picture of a cross and a Bible wide open to a verse and on the table it says, 'Holiness unto the Lord,'" she said, explaining how she was able to capture the sentiment in a photo.

Seventeen-year old Tiffanie Stewart's wishes were just as selfless. She wished for "no more tears from my mom's eyes."

"My momma's always crying, and I'll be like 'why's she always in pain?' I can't do nothing about it," Tiffanie says.

But how do you take a photo of "no more tears?" Across the street from their shelter, Tiffanie came across two more homeless people and captured the image she calls "no more pain."

"I saw people laying on the side of the street and I'm like, 'Well, I ain't the only one going through problems. They going through something 10 times worse than what I'm going through,'" Tiffanie says. "I felt better. And I couldn't think about myself no more because I got somewhere to sleep. They don't."

For Tiffanie's mom, Velma, the picture not only took the tears from her eyes — it opened them, too.

"For her to have that much understanding to life, and to have that much compassion towards other people, it made me feel really good," Velma says. "And I sort of forgot about my own struggles."

Adds Velma: "I really thought I was a failure at life because of where I ended up. But through my daughter's eyes and her wish list, it made me get my strength back."

Thanks to financial support from General Motors, all of the photographs are available as holiday cards, to benefit the Salvation Army. They are revealing images from children who possess so little and yet understand so much.
  • Melissa McNamara

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