Kristin O’Connell is the Executive Director and Visionary for Devoted to Children. It is because of her big heart, courage and ongoing leadership that Devoted to Children has been started and is changing lives.
On a trip to Haiti in May 2012 (I was volunteering as a midwife for 3 weeks in a birth center), I had a serendipitous encounter with a Haitian humanitarian who shared his vision of an orphanage with me. This kind man had been looking after a group of orphans since the 2010 earthquake. On his own, he had been providing these abandoned kids with a place to go for afternoon activities. These children, having either lost their parents in the earthquake or as a result of disease from the aftermath, were lucky if they had one small meal a day, clothes to wear or a piece of cloth to sleep on. Since then, this man had struggled to keep them off the streets and give them any resources that he could.
As I was told story after story of the desperate situation at hand, I realized I had been given a life-changing opportunity. I knew I had two choices; either I could return home simply thankful for my experience in Haiti, or I could take a leap of faith and help this man fulfill his vision. In that moment of truth I knew my answer… at the very least I had to try.
As a mother, wife, midwife, yoga teacher, and friend who has been fortunate to have an abundant life… how could I walk away from this situation where I knew I could make a difference? How could I abandon these children who have nothing and no one? Would you?
And so I started Devoted to Children…
Amber Charne Born and raised in Northern California, Amber has holds a BA in Anthropology, the study of people, and is delighted to be working in a field of her expertise. She has spent most of her life working with children, as a preschool teacher, care-taker and long time kids yoga instructor. Amber’s passion for travel, health and relationships, between people and that to nature, have been lifelong and have lead her to sharing in the importance of all of this in the work that she does. She is a full-time yoga educator, guiding children and adults in healing and wellness and is deeply involved with the D2C Foundation. Amber lives between Costa Rica and the Bay Area, Ca, enjoying family, yoga, surfing, the outdoors, and inspiring others. Amber is Director of Children’s Yoga Project and co-leads the Seva Volunteer trips.
Kristie Buehner Kristie has been an executive in technology companies for over 14 years, she has recently transitioned her time and career to focus on her passions of health, wellness and philanthropy. She is the founder of Healthy Bliss Health Coaching and uses her unique approach to inspire others to live the greatest life they can envision for themselves. She was drawn to be a part Devoted to Children from its inception and is so inspired by the children of Haiti. Kristie is an avid traveler, and has a love for the mountains and the ocean. She resides in Park City, Utah with her husband and 2 children.
Galit Korngold Galit is a freelance graphic designer with over 20 years experience who lives in Montreal, Canada full-time with her son. She is contributing her talents to help communicate the Devoted to Children Foundation’s message with the world.
Terra Nunez As a human rights activist for over twenty years, Terra has worked in several countries in Latin America on a multitude of projects including leading human rights delegations, working with indigenous communities and women’s cooperatives, leading an NGO with returning Guatemalan refugees and most recently starting a prenatal support program with Mexican indigenous farmworkers. All of this experience combined with her Masters in International Policy Studies, with a focus on Gender and Development, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Devoted to Children Foundation in which she is deeply committed and an integral part.
Carli Lewis Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she lived for 25 years, Carli currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and 3 daughters. Her extensive experience working with children includes working as a nanny for many years and currently teaching swimming lessons to children ages 4 months and up. Carli keeps herself busy doing crafts, sewing, working with power tools. She loves adventures and the opportunity to explore. She is not afraid to try something new and loves to get others involved and make them feel comfortable and included which suits her role as Director of the Join the Family Program.
Susan Gaffney Susan is a part time banker and a full time mother. She holds a BS in Finance and an MBA with over ten years experience in banking and corporate finance. Over the past decade, the majority of her time and energy has been focused on her family. A desire to be of service to others and to open the eyes of her four children to the grace and blessings that surrounded them, motivated her to join the D2C team. Susan provides financial guidance and operational support to D2C.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead