Blue Heron Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Romanian and Moldovan orphaned and abandoned youth by providing them with greater access to life’s opportunities through merit based college scholarships, additional educational courses, a closely monitored mentorship program, volunteer opportunities and yearly summer camps. The goal is to comprehensively address the intellectual, social and emotional needs of the students who have suffered trauma so that they may become self-actualized, self-sufficient, productive adults. Blue Heron intervenes early in the lives of the youths, who, as residents of the two countries in Europe with the highest rates of human trafficking, are a highly vulnerable population. They address the unique needs of the students based on gender through programs like the Young Male Initiative and through Girls’ Educational Initiatives.
Blue Heron Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable organization operated in the US, Romania and Moldova. The name Blue Heron, which in Native American symbolism stands for “inner reflection and active manifestation of one’s spiritual path,” mirrors the founder’s journey at a time when she decided to give back to disadvantaged children in Romania.
Since 2002 we Blue Heron raised and invested over $1.9 Million in bettering the lives of more than 3,000 Romanian and Moldovan youths with the help of a generous community of over 900 American and Romanian donors, 160 mentors from 6 different countries and 430 volunteers. Blue Heron is active in 20+ counties in Romania and, since 2015, in 5 regions in the Republic of Moldova, with the eventual goal of expanding to all impoverished districts.
In keeping with Blue Heron’s philosophy of minimizing extraneous expenses, the primary fundraising instrument is a “Giving Circle” in which members pledge an annual minimum of $500. The supporters meet every fall during a yearly “Salon” to hear about Blue Heron’s activities and receive updates from scholarship recipients.
In accordance their goal of increasing the cultural profile of charitable giving in Romania, since 2006 Blue Heron has organized numerous local galas, including the Valentine’s Day Charity Ball, which for a number of years, became a tradition among Bucharest’s charity events. The evenings culminated with the presentation of the Forget-Me-Not Humanitarian Award, which to date has been given to 6 notable Romanians who have shown exemplary dedication to bettering the lives of the country’s underprivileged children.
As of spring 2016, Blue Heron has rekindled their commitment to cultivate the East Coast base of support by hosting an annual Salon in New York City.
It is a key principle of Blue Heron’s approach that 100% of all donations are used exclusively for the students in the program. The founders pay all administrative costs.