Today, I was part of an upcoming 10 year anniversary photo shoot for The Spiritual Care Guild. Not by coincidence, my sister sent along info on another non-profit that is also celebrating its 10 year anniversary, The Happy Hearts Fund. While, its founder is a Sports Illustrated swim-suit model, who is no stranger to photo shoots….she is someone who took her tragedy and made something so inspirational… that I had to share.
Her name is Petra Nemcova and she was in Thailand when the Indian Ocean Tsunami struck on December 26, 2004. After recovering from her injuries, she returned to Thailand to see how to be of the best help. When she witnessed families without homes, children without parents, and entire communities swept away, she knew she had to act. Petra was most affected by the children who were not getting any help five months after the disaster.
So in 2005 Petra was determined to restore hope and opportunity to the children affected by the Tsunami with a vision to rebuild schools and children’s’ lives following natural disasters. It was the first time she experienced the “gap period” which occurs after first response and before governments step in after a natural disaster. For this reason Happy Hearts Fund concentrated its mission in the gap period by building “Happy Self Sustaining Schools.”
Happy Hearts Fund was structured so all administrative costs would be underwritten, thereby ensuring 100 percent of all donations received would be directed to children’s programming. Since inception, Happy Hearts Fund has worked in a total of 14 countries and is currently active in six countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Haiti. They have built or re-built 85 schools and kindergartens. Since their inception The Happy Hearts Fund has benefited more than 46,000 children and 490,000 community members.
Now, that is something that makes this heart very happy!
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