Happy Hearts Fund
|Founder & Chair||Petra Němcová|
|Executive Director.||Sue Veres Royal|
Happy Hearts Fund rebuilds safe-resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters. They work during the gap period when children are forgotten after emergency response is complete, bringing hope and empowerment to generations of children and entire communities.
Czech model Petra Němcová and her photographer/fiance Simon Atlee were on working holiday at the Khao Lak resort in Thailand. On 26 December 2004 a tsunami hit the coastal resort where they were staying, triggered by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
When Němcová returned to Thailand a few months after the tsunami, she witnessed families without homes, children without parents and entire communities swept away. She was most affected by the children and sought to figure out a way to help them rebuild their lives and bring back hope and opportunity. Unsatisfied with the response of organizations that were unable to specify which children, or even which country, would benefit, Němcová set out to create her own entity and structured it so that all administrative costs would be underwritten, thereby ensuring that 100% of all donations received would be directed to children's programming.
HHF was founded by Nemcova on her return to the United States. It received its 501(c)3 status in 2006.
HHF initiatives are focused on bridging the gap between emergency post-disaster relief and fully restored infrastructure. While disaster relief meets immediate needs for food, shelter, water and disease control, it can be some time before governments start the process of rebuilding infrastructure and that creates a gap in the recovery process. It is during this gap that HHF steps in to help rebuild.
HHF programs have three key components: education, technology and sustainability.
- 1. Education
- HHF identifies schools in areas adversely affected by natural disasters and builds or rebuilds them allowing children to start the healing and recovery process.
- 2. Technology
- Within each school, HHF establishes a computer lab with the needed IT software, hardware and :training in order to create more opportunities for children to have better education and :employment options.
- 3. Sustainability
- HHF aims to create independence through its sustainability initiatives. HHF incubates and :fosters a community-oriented business as a programmatic companion to the new schools, thereby :ensuring a long-term funding stream for the maintenance and development of the school, and, by extension, the community.
Globally, HHF is active in nine countries and has built/rebuilt 89 schools and kindergartens. Since inception their programs have benefited more than 46,000 children and 490,000 community members. 
On April 8, 2010, HHF took part in a special forum on the Millennium Development Goals with the US Chamber BCLC at the United Nations. 
HHF and joint venture partner ING Bank celebrated the opening of the Arcadio Zentella school in Villahermosa, Mexico on March 30, 2010 that they rebuilt after it was destroyed in the area's flooding in 2007. This marks the first school in Mexico to be part of the Sustainable Schools Program.
On December 15, 2009, HHF Founder and Chair, Petra Nemcova, and former Executive Director, Phillip Caputo, launched the “Bring Happiness Back!” campaign at the United Nations to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami, which struck on December 26, 2004. That same day, Nemcova and Caputo also participated in the closing bell ceremonies at NASDAQ where the “Bring Happiness Back!” Campaign was also highlighted.
The “Bring Happiness Back!” Campaign's goal is to raise awareness about the plight of children in natural disasters, especially those children who are forgotten and caught in the "gap period," between first response and full recovery.
The initial objective of the “Bring Happiness Back!” Campaign was to directly assist children affected by the September 2009 earthquake in West Java, Indonesia. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, HHF expanded the focus of the Bring Happiness Back! Campaign to support the children of Haiti as well.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2014)|
In February 2014 Happy Hearts Fund began a partnership with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Together they are hosting a contest on prizeo.com that enters contestants to win a behind the scenes trip with SI Swimsuit. The winner and a guest will be flown from wherever they are to the location of the 2015 photo shoot and be given exclusive behind the scenes access. The more money you donate to Happy Hearts Fund, the more entries will be earned into the contest. Higher donations also will receive SI Swimsuit themed rewards and prizes.
- Nemcova, Petra (18 March 2010). "Restoring the Lives of Children After Natural Disasters: How You Can Bring Happiness Back". Huffington Post.