Sarah's Stories: Virtual Photo Walks Take People Around the Globe

4 years 8 months 2 weeks ago March 18, 2012 Mar 18, 2012 Sunday, March 18 2012 Sunday, March 18, 2012 9:32:00 PM CDT in News
By: Sarah Hill

Seven year old Domenic Garufi arrived at the hospital to get treatment for his Crohn's Disease. Little did Domenic know, this day long infusion would also include a virtual trip to Canada to feed the birds.  Click on the thumbail at the left to watch video of this story.  

"No child this young should have to deal with a lot of the things he deals with on a daily basis," said Frank Garufi, Domenic's father.

Virtual Photo Walks uses Google Plus Hangouts, a group video chatroom inside Google Plus, to take people to places they might not otherwise get to see due to a hospitalization or the inability to leave the house.  Some virtual photo walk excursions have included the mountains of Utah, Rome, Hawaii and Australia.

"Watching my son go through this and seeing how much joy it brought him was something that was incredible for me," said Garufi. "It's something that can bring a lot of joy to a lot of people who don't normally get something this great. "

John Butterill created the organization to help people like Domenic and Corey Fisk who has Multiple Sclerosis. Butterill gave Fisk a virtual tour of a grove of Birch trees and described the experience for Sarah Hill.

"Corey was overwhelmed because she'd never taken a picture other than anything outside her window for 5 years, so that' s pretty powerful."

Butterill is looking for volunteer photographers and people who would benefit from a Virtual Photo Walk. For more information, you can visit the Google Plus Page of Virtual Photo Walks or email virtualphotowalks@gmail.com .  To create a free Google Plus profile so you can Hangout, go to www.plus.google.com  

Photos and Videos courtesy: John Butterill, Bruce Garber, Frank Garufi and Shefali Burns

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