When Brian Bononi was sent to a shuttered shop to do some measurements, he came across a pile of items bearing the images of various families that captured special moments and milestones sitting abandoned and forgotten by the door.
Bononi said he knew he had to do something.
"I found over 160 canvases, mugs, ornaments [and] envelopes of photos...most likely going to the landfill to get discarded," Bononi told ABC News on Tuesday. "I couldn't let them just stay there."
Bononi, an architect who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, was inside Portrait Innovations, which had closed recently at the Shops at Boardwalk mall. He called for permission to take the items home with him.
"I got a hold of my family. They came up and we recovered all these photos," he said.
Since that day, Jan. 30, 2020, he and his family have been working hard to connect the personalized items with the families who own them. Bononi told ABC News that he had reached out to about 70 people and that about 59 had called him back. More than 20 families have already seen him to pick up their photographed items, he said.
"These are people's photos from graduation, newborns... If anyone knows anything about getting family portraits taken. [There's] coordinating outfits, a Saturday when everyone can make it. ... Can you imagine getting there...and then never getting the canvas from this photoshoot?" he said.
Bononi encouraged any families who think their photographs might be among the items he has to reach out to him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We're just trying to get everyone connected here in Kansas City," he said.