When Estrella Rosenberg was a little girl, she had to experience something that is difficult even for the most seasoned adult to experience. Her baby sister passed away suddenly to a congenital heart defect, a problem that affects countless children all around the world.
As is the case with so many women we encounter in the world of NPOs, Estrella did not cave in under the pain of this loss, but rather her reaction was to try to prevent anyone else from having to feel such pain. Gaining inspiration from a little girl who had already endured several heart surgeries, Estrella began an organization called Big Love Little Hearts. As of 2011, the organization had saved 300 lives around the world.
The amount of projects that Big Love Little Hearts is spearheading right now is almost dizzying. There is a project called OpenAction, where a person anywhere in the world will be able to click on a map and see where health care professionals are that can help them. There is an initiative called the Screening Program, where children can be screened for congenital heart defects out in the field. Estrella hand-delivers a lot of gifts to children who are sick in hospitals. Last year, Big Love Little Hearts was involved in a project called Operation Healing Hearts, which aimed to raise $30,000 for children needing life-saving operations.
If you have ever listened to Estrella speak about Big Love Little Hearts, you have heard the true voice of cause fueled by passion. One of the most difficult aspects of the Big Love Little Hearts world is that sometimes kids don’t make it, even if they are able to get an operation. These losses are felt on a personal level by Estrella and the entire organization, but there is never a time when Estrella takes time to feel sorry for herself. Rather, she seems to take these losses and transform them into tools that make her go even harder and more steadfastly towards her goals.
Would you be able to stand hearing about the deaths of children you are trying to save? It is not for the weak at heart.
As we have noted throughout this series, women like Estrella are not after the money except as it pertains to their fundraising efforts. Given that, the best way we can show our gratitude is to help the causes that mean the most to these women.
If you want to thank Estrella, the best way would be to look into some of the suggestions on the Big Love Little Hearts site. You can help raise awareness, you can help fund a surgery for a child in need, or you can even send a care basket to a child who is ill in a hospital.
Even more basic than those options, however, is simply finding Estrella in the online world and saying “Thanks for all you do.” You can find her on Twitter at @charityestrella or you can like the Big Love Little Hearts page on Facebook.
You can also keep an eye on any bills having to do with screening for congenital heart diseases. Help make sure that any problems infants may experience can be resolved quickly before lives are lost.
I’m proud to say I’ve gotten to know Estrella a bit over the last couple of years. She is a warm, empathetic, sympathetic soul, and is as strong as the strongest steel available. Get to know her. I promise, you won’t be sorry!