Last month we introduced Deborah, who runs three businesses including a high-end women’s boutique located in Nomad – Noir et Blanc, an upscale resale store also in Nomad – The Thrifty HoG and Hearts of Gold, a 501(c)3 organization.
As a result of her passionate attitude and the hard work of volunteers in the neighborhood,
Deborah Koenigsberger has been able to enhance the lives of 20,000+ homeless mothers and their children.
Deborah’s non-profit organization Hearts of Gold, works hard to create achievable goals by helping the moms and their children to reimagine their futures. She helps homeless children to enjoy being kids, while providing their mothers with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce and beyond. The program offers work and life skills training for mothers while providing strong, proven “Next Gen” programs for the children. Scroll down to read our interview with Deborah below.
Hearts of Gold was originally based on the idea that if we lifted up the moms and their children together, we would create a happier family unit. We started with programs like monthly birthday parties for the kids and “Lunch-N-Learn” workshops for the moms. In these workshops we would invite the moms and an expert, cater in lunch and teach the moms something valuable like making picture frames from scratch or having debates about current events. We kept coming up with program after program, and as we saw a need we would fill it.
What inspired you to start?
The inspiration for starting Hearts of Gold was a homeless mom and her daughter who slept in Madison Square Park (which was then a “heroin den”), in a cardboard box in 1994, coupled with the lyrics from Stevie Wonder’s song “Take The Time Out”. It got me thinking about how I could help. The lyrics from that song which I heard seven nights straight while attending his “Conversation Peace” album tour at Radio City Music Hall stayed in my head and I decided to act on those thoughts. And Hearts of Gold was born.
How can the neighborhood participate or get involved?
Our goal right now is to open our very first Hearts of Gold Center. We need the classic three T’s: Time, Treasure and Talent, to make that happen. We are launching a capital campaign this year with that goal in mind and we hold large and small fundraising events all year.
Our Hearts of Gold Annual Walk for Kids is coming up on May 21st in Riverside Park – please join us! On October 27th we will hold this years annual gala, “All That Glitters” which will be a magnificent ball to be held at Capitale in New York City.
Please also visit our resale store The Thrifty HoG located at 11 West 25th Street. This store is one of our most successful programs. We hire and train moms in all aspects of retail and customer service to help them to be successful in the workforce and become independent self-sustaining heads of households. Our mantra is “shop and drop” because we know that when you drop off your no longer needed very gently used clothing and home décor items, you will find something wonderful to shop for. Your support means everything!