2019 Open Hearts Award RECIPIENTS
THE JENESSE CENTER
Offering life-saving services, Jenesse Center Inc. is a nationally recognized non-profit domestic violence prevention and intervention organization. Jenesse works locally, nationally and globally to shine a light on violence against women, girls, men and boys and advocates the basic human right for all people to have peace in their homes and relationships.www.JENESSE.org
Halle BerryHalle Berry, an Academy Award-winning actress for her role in Monster’s Ball, is being honored for her work with the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program. Halle’s main project within Jenesse Center is the “What a Little Love Can Do” project to remodel the center’s housing spaces where victims of domestic abuse can live comfortably and safely. She feels this is a unique challenge and her belief is that the spirits of many battered women have been so broken that they can only DREAM of living independently in a safe, warm and beautiful space free of the horrors of the past.
Project Glimmer’s story began in 2009, when founder Sonja Hoel Perkins attended a holiday benefit for the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program. Inspired by their giving, she later called the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program to learn how she could give more. What she learned set the stage for Project Glimmer: while there were plenty of gifts for kids, there were never enough gifts for teenage girls. That year, Sonja launched the first “Glimmer Drive.” She encouraged friends and family to donate costume jewelry, gift cards. Since their founding, Project Glimmer has given more than 200,000 gifts to at-risk women and girls through over 200 community partners in 30 US states.www.PROJECTGLIMMER.org
SONJA PERKINSSonja Hoel Perkins is the Managing Director of The Perkins Fund, Founder of Broadway Angels and Founder of nonprofit Project Glimmer. Considered one of the best performing and most senior professionals in venture capital, she invests broadly in all stages and areas of information technology including Internet, mobile, security, data, communications, consumer and software. Sonja is being honored for creating Project Glimmer to inspire at-risk teenage girls and women to believe in themselves by letting them know their community cares.
A NEW WAY OF LIFE RE-ENTRY PROGRAM
Susan Burton founded the organization A New Way of Life, where she works with female ex-convicts fighting problems of re-entry to society and the workforce. After her own re-entry after incarceration, Burton looked for opportunities to continue her life outside of prison. Burton was at a loss for ways to continue her life successfully after prison – an issue that far too many individuals face daily. This inspired Burton, and in 1998, Burton bought a house and converted it into a house for recently released female offenders with the help of grant funding. In 2000, A New Way of Life was officially born. Eventually, Burton became a certified chemical dependency counselor, and she now has five transitional houses in Los Angeles. The program helps women transition back into society, find work, and recover from drug addiction.www.ANEWWAYOFLIFE.org
SUSAN BURTONSusan Burton is an activist and former incarcerated woman based in LOS ANGELES who works with ex-convicts and founded the nonprofit organization A New Way of Life. She was named a CNN Hero in 2010 and a Purpose Prize winner in 2012.
THE FIRST ANNUAL SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
7th ANNUAL LOS ANGELES HOMETOWN MISSIONMending Kids Hometown Mission provides life-changing surgeries to approximately 20 children in the greater Los Angeles region, at no cost to the patients or their families. Hometown Mission is a partnership between Mending Kids, Specialty Surgical Center in Beverly Hills and local surgeons and medical professionals who donate their time and skills in orthopedics, reconstructive surgery and anesthesiology. Mending Kids Hometown Mission is committed to providing a better quality of life to children who might experience bullying due to their physical appearance. Considered cosmetic by most insurance carriers, to the children, and the families, these surgeries are critical. These children experience depression and in some cases cutting and contemplation of suicide because of their challenges.