History of HeroPortraits.org
Darrell and Kimberly Lynn had been searching for a meaningful, accessible opportunity to give to their local and national community that reflected their life’s work. The Lynn’s wanted to share with others because they had been so blessed in life with their children, grandchildren, family and friends. They had traveled the world including India, Japan, Croatia, Hong Kong, China and other third world countries trying to find the nameless opportunity that lived within their souls, only to find that the opportunity they were searching for was right in their backyard.
A phone call from a mother who needed comfort would open an unexpected door. On February 1, 2009, at 9:00 p.m., Darrell received a phone call from Florence, a mom of a fallen soldier. She told them the story of her son that gave his life in service for our country. She shared with the Lynn’s she was part of Gold Star Moms, a local chapter support group in Georgia. Gold Star Moms is an organization of mothers who have lost a child in the Armed Forces. The call that night went on for three hours and was filled with touching stories about her son, along with many tears. Darrell and Kimberly’s life would be forever changed by the question he asked this recovering mother. It was, "how can I help you?"
She had seen one of the hand-painted Oil Portraits the Lynn’s had donated some months before of another fallen soldier, Mike Hardegree. Hesitantly she wanted to know the cost of doing a portrait of her son. The Lynn’s had started www.OilPortraits.com, a for-profit company. They had built this company with an infrastructure to efficiently and cost effectively offer portraits to the masses. When Florence was told there would be no cost, then tears were shed on both sides of the phone call.
After the call ended, Darrell realized that there were six other Gold Star Moms that had not requested or received a Portrait. So, he called right back and asked her to tell all the mother’s they would each receive a portrait to honor each fallen soldier.
By the next morning, the Lynn’s knew this was a non-profit that had to exist. It all made sense from their business background to give these portraits to those who have given everything for this country. Their mission had come calling in the middle of the night and continues today.
The goal of Hero Portraits is be able to honor those who have sacrificed themselves serving in the Armed Forces, Police, Fire, Coast Guard, FBI, ATF, and the many other Civil Servants that protect us every day. What an honor it is to give a portrait that will comfort the family and be handed down for generations to come of those who have helped to keep us safe, protect our rights, and serve the citizens of the United States of America and around the world.
What started as a simple telephone call has developed into this incredible national project, and a bond with this wonderful group of Georgia Moms that will indeed last a lifetime.