Photos by Rodney Choice

Washingtonian magazine recently solicited entries from residents of the D.C. Metro Area for its annual Cutest Baby contest for children ages 0 to 3. The contest ⁠— a fundraiser to benefit Children’s National Health System⁠ — promised two winners, one determined by a panel of judges and one People’s Choice Award determined by online voting from the public. 

Street Sense Media covered the entry fee and provided a photographer for four formerly homeless mothers to enter their children. (One family we worked with did not want their experience with homelessness publicized here) The children in these families’ circumstances are as beautiful as any other baby.

The nomination form asked only one thing: “Tell us why your baby is the cutest!” And at Street Sense Media, in the same way we know talent and creativity are distributed equally without regard to income or housing status, so too do we know that homelessness and poverty do not define a person, a family, or a child’s cuteness. There is no clearer way to see this than to read these mother’s answers to Washingtonian’s question below. Special thanks to Samaritan Inns and House of Ruth for helping us connect with them.

Washingtonian received 444 entries for the contest, according to a staff member. They were finalizing the donation for Children’s National when Street Sense went to press and unable to comment on the amount of money raised.

The Judge’s Pick and People’s Choice awards for the contest are expected to be announced Friday, July 12. Both will be printed in an upcoming issue of the magazine.


Wynter’Rose

Photo by Rodney Choice

“She’s very bright, she has bright eyes, she’s very smart, she’s unique, she’s photogenic, she likes to have fun, she has a great personality – she’s just perfect. She is just everything, she is life.” (Vote for Wynter’Rose)


M’Ryha

Photo by Rodney Choice

“M’Ryha is the perfect child inside and out. She has an adventurous spirit and bright personality that lights up any room or environment. She’s extremely loving and affectionate, always showering me with hugs and kisses. She can be caught singing and dancing in her own lil world. M’Ryha is my best friend and has brought so much joy and peace into my life. She’s truly everything and the best daughter in the world.” (Vote for M’Ryah)


Demarco

Photo by Rodney Choice

“Just look at him! I think he’s the cutest because he has a nice little sense of humor. He wakes up in the morning and gives mommy kisses and hugs. He’s really protective of mommy – I think that’s just so adorable. He’s the baby of four kids. He’s my little miracle child because I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was 6-months. When he was literally moving in my stomach, that’s when I found out I was pregnant.” (Vote for Demarco)


Leah Potter and Rodney Choice contributed to this project.

Update (07.10.2019)

This post has been changed to keep up with the status of the contest, for which voting is now closed.