Famous Photographer and Museum Founder Donald Verger Gives Back to Joplin After Surviving Tornado That Devastated City

Verger Starts "Joplin Art Project" Donating 25,000 Postcards to American Red Cross, Joplin Schools, St. John's Mercy Hospital, Joplin Museum Complex

14 Jun, 2011, 06:00 ET from Donald Verger Photography

PORTLAND, Maine, June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- New England photographer Donald Verger today announced that he has created a series of 25,000 postcards featuring inspiring images he is sending to the tornado survivors in Joplin, Missouri. Verger was in a van photographing the stormy skies in the Midwest when he harrowingly escaped the tornado that devastated the city.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110614/NE19300)

(Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/donaldvergerphotography)

"After almost losing my life in the Joplin tornado, I wanted to reach out to the wonderful people there," said Donald Verger, the photographer known worldwide for holding the beauty he sees in the world with his extraordinary images of cloud filled skies, lighthouses, flowers and people. "I am especially grateful that my postcards will go to more than 6,000 school children in Joplin."

"The generosity and thoughtfulness of Mr. Verger has made it possible for us to give every student a beautiful postcard on the first day of school," said Dr. CJ Huff, Superintendent of Joplin Schools. "This is a time of great transition for our students, and we highly appreciate Mr. Verger's support." The Joplin School District has launched an "Adopt-a-Classroom" program to help re-stock the 260 classrooms damaged by the May 22 tornado. For more info call (417) 625-5270  --  ext. 3430.

The CEO of the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Chapter, Debi Meeds, said, "We truly appreciate the kindness that Mr. Verger is showing to the citizens of Joplin by providing comfort through his photos as we heal from this tragic event."

"Donald Verger is one of the most sensitive individuals I have ever known. At Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, he heard of needs we had for art and photography in various facilities, but budgets were lean. Don offered to fill those needs in multiple places in Mercy Hospital by donating his spectacular photography which contributes to the 'healing' environment," said Eileen F. Skinner, President and CEO, Mercy Health System of Maine. "I frequently receive comments from patients and staff as to the beauty and peace of his work. Donald has an uncanny ability to understand how people react to art, and the positive impact to be made."

Acknowledged for their spiritual and healing qualities, Verger's images grace the walls of hospitals across the country, including the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in his home state of Maine. Verger is also a longstanding supporter of the Innocence Project in New York City and Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. He personally created a series of 12 different postcards for the Joplin Art Project with designer Kate Clark.

"I invite other artists and individuals around the world to join in the Joplin Art Project by using their creative talents to help support the people of Joplin," he said.

How To Receive Postcards

People who would like to receive the postcards -- whether they are located in Joplin or those living elsewhere in the world wishing to mail postcards to Joplin survivors -- may simply email their request to: info@donaldverger.com

Facebook users are also invited to add their well wishes to Mr. Verger's Facebook page, joining some of his 7,000 fans who continue to express their heartfelt support for Joplin: http://www.facebook.com/donaldvergerphotography

About Donald Verger

Donald Verger is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer. His stunning landscape photography, reminiscent of the legendary work of Ansel Adams, is notable for its quiet, ethereal beauty and subtle nuances of light. He took inspiration from the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe for his vibrant flower images. Donald Verger is Founder and President Emeritus of the world-renowned Children's Discovery Museum and Science Discovery Museum in New England. Verger has served on numerous boards, including Chairperson of UNICEF's New England Advisory Board, along with U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Arnold Hiatt, and on the board of directors for Wheelock College and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. All of his philanthropic work benefits children and families. For more information visit http://www.donaldverger.com

Media Contact: Heidi Hynes
Mobile: 978-302-1198

SOURCE Donald Verger Photography