I never watched the Oprah show until this past year. When I moved back to Florida and was getting settled, she’d come on in the afternoon during my unpacking breaks and from the first episode I watched, I was hooked. I decided to start recording it on my TiVo and since then, I’ve been a faithful Oprah Winfrey Show watcher. Yesterday and Monday, I watched as the stars celebrated her 25 year stint at Chicago’s United Center. During the show that spanned the past two days, they showed account after account of how Oprah has changed the lives of millions of every day people. The gravity of what she’s done for the last 25 years really hit me during these last few weeks. It’s amazing to see how just one person, who came from absolutely nothing, who came from the “back roads of Mississippi” was able to make such a HUGE impact on the world.
Even though I’ve only been watching her for the last 9-10 months or so, she’s showed me how to be compassionate towards people who don’t deserve compassion. I also love how she will show her real feelings, despite her powerhouse status, when she breaks down and cries, yet holds it together, with a guest on her show that is mourning the loss of someone they loved.
The biggest way that Oprah touched me was through the show she did that was dedicated to animals. I cried a lot during that show, but also laughed. this show really planted a firm seed in my heart that has now become known at The JRB Foundation. I’m super proud and happy to have created The JRB Foundation to help fund no kill shelters, no kill rescues, therapy dog training, and service animal vests; all because I watched one Oprah show. The passion has always been there to help animals but my utter disgust was at an all time high when a heroic dog who accidentally got out was euthanized. The entire audience gasped because of it and I cried… Like. A. Baby. Then I texted Colby about it. Something just stirred in me that pushed me into doing something about it. I believe people and ideas are brought into our paths for a reason. It was a couple of months later that I attended a PUG meeting about how we are more than photographers and that if we are passionate about something, we should use our talents as photographers to pursue those passions.
I’m not going to lie… I’m going to miss Oprah. I wish OWN was one of the stations we receive, but it’s not, otherwise I’d probably be addicted to her network.
Please consider making a contribution to The JRB Foundation. For more information about the foundation, checkout thejrbfoundation.org.