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Local Families Receive Family Portraits through King University Help Portrait Event

BRISTOL, Tenn., Dec. 7, 2017 – King University’s Digital Media Art & Design (DMAD) program hosted its seventh annual Help Portrait event on Nov. 4. Help Portrait brings King students together with members of the community to provide a family portrait to those who may not otherwise be able to afford one. King students provided 31 families, consisting of more than 120 people, with a free, framed family portrait for the holidays along with gift bags filled with donated items. Each family also received a digital copy of their images and a gift card to Walmart to print additional photos.

“Christina Thomas, a junior DMAD major and president of King’s Art and Design club, was the organizer of this year’s event. She, along with all the students who helped, did an incredible job,” said Lee Jones, assistant professor of Photography and Digital Media at King. “We were all excited to have the number of families we helped double this year. One family was back for the fifth year to get their family portrait.”

“If I could describe the event in just a couple words, it would be that it was an awesome day,” said Thomas. “It was great to see the event from a different side this year – as the organizer; in the past, I’ve helped in a variety of other ways. I think everyone had a good time; the volunteers were amazing. We received wonderful donations. It was cool to see the community come together. It was a fun day overall in every area.”

“Including myself, there were 12 students working throughout the day doing everything from taking pictures, editing and creating gift packages, helping with the families, and spending time with the kids,” said Jones. “Out of the students helping, only four were returning students from last year; the remainder were all new to the event. One student, who was not a DMAD major or minor, enjoyed the event so much he has decided to minor in DMAD. That is telling of what kind of event it is and how impactful it is not only for the families we help but for the students hosting the event.”

“We are so grateful for all of those who made this important event possible,” said Thomas. “Help Portrait’s venue was provided by the Bristol Public Library in Bristol, Virginia. Donations were provided by Chick-fil-A at The Pinnacle, Blackbird Bakery, and Food City on Euclid Avenue, as well as King University’s Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Student Government Association.”


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.