In 2002-03 Kimerlee had been visiting el Faro, an orphanage in Tijuana, with her then acting coach, Leigh Kilton Smith. The children and the experiences there were life changing. This is when the camera was again picked up, a borrowed 35 mm film camera. Ultimately, destiny was working it ways. For her birthday in 2003, she held a small event with a grouping of these images and in lieu of gifts asked friends to make a small donation to the Friends of el Faro organization. Funds were dropped into a wrapped box, any amount. Around 1500.00 was raised and a desperately needed, larger commercial sized refrigerator was purchased for the orphanage.
It was this event that she realized her own life at the time, may not allow for writing checks, however..."ART - has a voice" and can make a difference.
Images matter, visual context shares experiences, people matter, the planet matters and we can all do something to help.
The following year, a paint mare enters her life and she visits Return to Freedom, American Wild Horse Sanctuary. Kimerlee attributes these two events to saving her life. A true calling is answered as she learns about the issue America's wild horses were facing on the range, off the range and what domestic horses were up against due to over breeding and slaughter.
She knew she needed to do something.
Since, her images have been donated many times over to a number of organizations focusing on the efforts of saving America's horses. She has donated time, collaborations, limited edition works, rescue work, fund raising efforts and talks, held workshops to participates from all over the world all for the purpose of raising awareness and funds.
Her work has inspired other to care, to photograph, be involved, be informed and make donations to this cause.
Many of her art openings are also fund raisers and awareness campaigns for our wild horses. She has worked with groups of teenage foster girls on photo safaris and spoke with them about the plight of the wild horse, the value of images, and the value of our voice making a difference no matter where we come from. For many years she taught workshops with a significant portion of funds going to RTF.
In recent years she has worked closely with the American Wild Horse Campaign, who focuses on issues directly on our public lands. Lending visuals and stories of her accounts on each journey into the wild. Donating images for fund raising events, specific campaigns and helping with their online website branding.This work will continue as she embarks upon an exciting large scale production featuring America's free roaming wild horses our vast public lands.