OCNJDaily.com’s Photo Contest Winner Reflects Spirit of Giving on Christmas
By tkelly – December 26, 2018
By Tim Kelly
A family’s decision to give up their Christmas morning to help those less fortunate had an unintended consequence: a win in OCNJDaily.com’s Christmas Photo Contest.
Ocean City resident Jim Kolea submitted the winning photo, a selfie depicting Kolea and five of his family members helping to serve meals to disadvantaged people through the City Light organization.
Kolea’s shot might not have had the visual impact of some of the other entrants, but it struck a chord with our readers. The photo received the most “likes” on the OCNJDaily.com Facebook page, earning Kolea a $100 gift card to Passion Vines.
“I have a lot of respect for your readers, valuing a picture of folks helping others over (more visually stimulating pictures),” Kolea said. “Ocean City has a lot of great people, and it’s great to be recognized.”
The photo tells only a fraction of the story as far as Kolea and his family’s charitable efforts are concerned. Six people are shown in the photo but there were actually 14 involved in working in Atlantic City on Christmas morning from Kolea’s family and that of a friend.
“This was our second year helping out there,” Kolea explained, adding, “We were just doing what Jesus taught us to do as human beings, which is to serve others.”
Kolea also leads a foundation, J19 Foundation, which helps children with cancer and their families.
“We do everything from mowing lawns to making mortgage payments and everything in between,” he said. “Anything within our power to help children diagnosed with cancer. When the diagnosis is made, typically these kids are admitted to the hospital right away and the families need help with the other (responsibilities of life).”
Visit www.J19Foundation.org for more information.
“Of course it makes you feel great to help out other people, but sometimes it is sad when you look at their circumstances,” Kolea said of his charitable efforts. “Sometimes I can’t help but think that I am blessed beyond what I deserve. These people haven’t done anything (wrong) and they find themselves in a tough spot. We are just doing our part to help them deal with their situations.”
And that, we think, is a greater reward than winning the OCNJDaily.com contest. Nevertheless, we’re happy to put an exclamation point on the efforts of Jim, his family, and friends.