iPhone cases & an important charity for Peruvian children

Phone cases are a dime a dozen. 

Well, not literally. They cost real money, but they’re available everywhere for all kinds of mobiles and at every conceivable price point. When it comes down to it, consumers will select the style and price that fits their circumstances and financial wherewithal. Hell, a lot of Chinese phone makers include a (cheap) case in the box that I’m sure a handful of people around the globe actually use.

When I received a press release from Illusion Photograph offering me a review sample of one of their phone cases, I told them up front that they should focus on getting samples to more visible outlets. They insisted, so I did some research and, after learning their story, acquiesced.  They sent me a Route 66 case for my iPhone 12 mini, and this, in a way, is a review. So, here it is…

The case comes in a zipper lock sleeve, has a lovely print applied, is glossy, and fits snugly onto my phone. It has cutouts on the top and bottom edges to better facilitate edge swiping, and the button cutouts prevent unintended button mashing while retaining easy access. In other words, it’s a lovely, but otherwise unremarkable case. 

Not exactly enough for a full post, but that’s not really the point. Here’s the email I sent Beatrice, the owner of Illusion Photograph and co-founder of the LivingHeart.co charity that illustrates the actual point:


Tell you what, you can send me a case, but a case is a case. I’d prefer to profile you and your efforts to raise funds for Living Heart. Your words on your website are moving. I fear for the future and my heartache is endless as I worry for our most vulnerable, no matter where they live, how they live, or what they look like. A human is a human. Full stop. And yet we struggle to make any real head-way in human rights around the world.

So, sure. You can send me a case and I’ll give it a nod, but the piece will be about you and your work and your ongoing efforts to find yourself. I fight daily for the same thing, so I feel you. 



As I believe I’ve made transparent (see what I did there?), they sent me a case for free and I was planning on posting a piece about their charity. What I would also like to make clear is that I’m doing this for the charity. My only hope is that people either buy cases or donate to the charity. 

This seems like a good time to talk about the charity itself. This video, produced in 2012, pretty much covers everything you need to know about how your generous donations are spent. 

Most charities focus on much larger targets with narrow goals, but what I believe are the core strengths of Living Heart are its tight focus on a small region of Peru, the education and nutrition of the children of those remote communities, the care to honor and promote local traditions (read: NOT colonialism), and the teaching of sustainable skills instead of just dropping off supplies. By not expanding outward in an attempt to serve more and more communities, the charity can focus its efforts and realize real change in these impoverished regions. Note in the video when they talk about donations of warm clothing they say can be worn underneath the culture’s traditional garb. There’s a level of detail and cultural sensitivity in that you don’t see a lot of. 

I urge that you give, or buy a case or five, and/or tell your friends and family to give what they can. I’ll be donating the value of the case I received once I’ve got the spare cash because I think that’s not only fair, but a responsibility I have to my fellow humans on this ever-increasingly miserable rock.  

No one has ever asked to be born who they are. We just get the luck of the draw, and these kids aren’t at fault for living in poverty, and by extension their parents. Society has a long, dark history of discrimination and segregation and classism in the extremes, and these Peruvian communities high in the Andes are an example of that. 

I think Living Heart is doing something very important here. We should all pitch in. 

Happy New Year…