The Focus On Love Foundation is the vision of Denise Hummel and Reba Sommer.  Together they have over 40 years of experience working in the emotional environment of a Human Resource Department -- 30 of those years they worked together.  Throughout their friendship they have shared their love for family, children, faith, and photography.  The murder of children at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, gave rise to do something that could make a difference for youth, family, and community.  Seeing photography as a creative art and tool to understand emotion, Focus On Love Foundation was born.  Acknowledging that parenting is a life-long learning process, Denise and Reba simply want to share what they and others have learned about emotion coaching and photography.  Proudly they filed their Michigan Non-Profit Incorporation on July 12, 2018, and on July 27, 2018 their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status was awarded by the IRS. 

The Compelling Emotion 

How did you feel after Columbine?  Maybe you weren’t old enough to remember.  So, how about Sandy Hook?  Or more recently, Stoneman Douglas?

Like me, did your heart sink into your stomach leaving an ache in the middle of your chest?  Did you feel shock and disbelief, followed by sadness and wonder?  I remember asking myself, how does a child get so overcome by an emotion that it causes them to murder?

First, I wanted to know all the details of the murderers.  Somehow knowing the character and background of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold helped distance me from the emotion of the event.  Knowing that Adam Lanza was fascinated with mass murders helped me label it as an unexplainable  “mental health” issue.  Subconsciously I justified that my children or grandchildren could never be a victim or perpetrator of such a horrific act.  It wasn’t until the Valentine's Day 2018 murders at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that I brought the darkness into focus. Why are so many children suffering?  It feels like we have an epidemic of children not only dying by the hands of other children, but also dying by their own hands. It was then that I said to myself this isn’t just a Columbine, Sandy Hook or Stoneman Douglas issue, this is a United States adolescent issue.  This is a hometown, Charlotte, Michigan, population 9,000 people issue.  These issues are already in my community, in my family and among my friends.  That is when I decided to no longer take a backseat and hope that someone else would do something about it...this was the powerful emotion that propelled The Focus On Love Foundation.

--Denise Hummel



Board of Directors

Denise A. Hummel, President

Reba F. Sommer, Treasurer

Sydney M. Hummel, Secretary

Carolyn Roath, Board Member

Sarah E. Wardell, Board Member