Baroness Kimberly Moore :
A Smile that is making Good History
Host : Baroness Kimberly Moore : A Smile that is making Good History
Interviewer: Emanuela Clari
FEB. 18, 2017
Int: Dear Baroness Moore it's an honor to have You here and to share with The Magazyne's readers the Unique person You are: a philanthropist, a creative and open-mind entrepreneur, a smiling believer in the impossible is possible, an actual woman who does things and not talks, a Lady who absolutely is making Good History.
Host: Thank you for having me! I am so honored to be here and share my story with you all. It’s been an amazing journey for me over the years, however, it hasn’t been easy. If I look back, my journey came with a lot of hardships and it was from some of the most adverse moments in my life that led me here today. Every day I am grateful for those challenges as later I realized that each one was a gift and has strengthened me to make me the person I am today. I believe that anything is possible to achieve as long as you have a purpose connected to it. If you don’t understand the “Why”, then we might just get stuck on the “How”.
Int: Let's start this interview from the very first day You have decided to dive yourself into
people's difficulties, needs, requests, cries and shouts for assistance and have begun
to help them all around the world. When did You first felt that urgent need to help? and
when did You lay the foundation stone?
Host: In 2005, I was in a near fatal car accident with a drunk driver. After being
faced with numerous medical and financial challenges over the course of my
recovery, my thoughts constantly went out to those in difficult situations
desperately crying for help – whose voices never heard. In spite of my struggles,
I felt blessed to be alive and knew in my heart it was my mission to help others
who were silently crying for help.
In 2007, 2 weeks before Christmas, I participated in a program at the U.S.
Post Office answering Santa letters. The program allowed individuals to
write to children who wrote to Santa addressed to the North Pole with a very
special message from Santa. After hours of writing back to children I ended
up finding the letter that would soon change my life. It was from a 6-year-old
boy who lived nearby asking for nothing more but a warm meal with his family.
I immediately ask to see all letters from his particular zip code and other
impoverished areas, and there I found more and more children who were
writing letters to Santa as a desperate cry for help. Children were not asking
Santa for toys, but such simple things like food, groceries, warm clothes,
shoes, and even a cure for their illness. I could not believe all this was going
on just a few miles away from home, right in our own backyard. I was heartbroken
reading simple requests from hungry and innocent children reaching out for help.
I immediately activated my community of friends and got everyone to “adopt a letter”
and promised each individual I would deliver their actual gift directly to their doorstep.
The thought of driving to each home and witnessing the surprised reaction of the
child excited me. I was a bit nervous as I didn’t know how the families would
respond. I told the parents I worked for Santa Claus and to my surprise I was greeted with a warm hug from every single family we visited. That Christmas my “Adopt A Letter” program became one of the most popular news stories on television as: “Kimberly Moore is Santa Claus!” I must have delivered gifts to 1,700 children which took about 2 months of driving door to door. Children and families were overwhelmed with joy and many tears. It was then when I realized it was not about the gift, but we were bringing these families hope, love, and the feeling that there are people out there that still care and the feeling that they were not forgotten. I knew that these simple acts would impact them in such ways we may never even know. Bringing joy to these children brought new joy and meaning to my life. 9 years later, with the help of my supporters, friends and businesses we’ve adopted the letters of over 40,000 children and families in the United States. As I got to know the children, I realized the importance of children feeling significant and began to develop more and more programs from community service projects, field trips to education. In 2014, the Kimberly Moore Foundation was born.
Int: So from Los Angeles You regularly fly to many other countries! can You tell us more about the fantastic
Adopt-A-Country program? How can a Country in need contact You? or how Do You make Your choice to
rescue a Country?
Host: Since I started “Adopt A Letter” the media has always been attracted to our program. Every year we get contacted by major media outlets from television, radio, newspapers and magazines which has gotten the attention from people around the world and other countries. Because of our large international reach, we receive loads of letters from children, parents, non-profits and even political leaders living in various countries in need who would write to us for help. The absurd part is I don’t usually pick the letter I adopt internationally. I’d like to say, the letter somehow picks me. I know when I read a letter and find myself up all hours of the night, unable to sleep and doing research on the matter… the letter has chosen me. In 2015, I felt the need to start the “Adopt A Country” program. The first country I adopted was “El Salvador” after receiving a letter from a woman by the name of Lory Oppenheimer, an advisor to congress who wrote about 89 children who were found in the trash over the course of a year. While reading her letter, I was deeply disturbed. Some of these children were being eaten by rats and insects and those found alive were taken to local orphanages. The second letter she sent was from a little boy who didn’t have much food or water to drink, but asked for a little school in his village so they can one day get out of poverty and take care of their family. After visiting the country, the orphanage, and providing food, clothes and books, I knew in my heart I was supposed to be there. Within 1 year we were able to organize 5 Kimberly Moore Foundation Learning Centers in 5 different impoverished cities in El Salvador.
2015 : FOUNDED 5 LEARNING CENTERS !!
*** Only in One Year ***
I N E L S A L V A D O R
*** Since September 2016 ***
My second “Adopt A Country” project started in September 2016. I received a letter from a gentleman by the name of Ebenezer Norman, founder of “A New Dimension of Hope” charity, from Liberia who needed help re-building a school that got demolished a few days after the grand opening. The school had taken him 4 years to build and he was in complete distress. I can feel his pain and intense passion for helping these children. After my meeting with him in Los Angeles and learning his “why”, I felt a deep compelling force within to help. 2 months later I jumped on a plane to Liberia to help him build his dream school, and figured out there was much more we needed to do. We partnered together and started an economic development project to help make our educational programs of much more impact. We immersed ourselves into the village, lived with locals and after hearing about the urgent issues concerning “girl’s education” which were not being addressed in the educational system, I felt perhaps this was the reason I was called. Today, along with our economic development project, we are in the process of building water wells, agriculture and farming, vocational training and building the first of a series of “Girl Friendly” schools in Liberia to take place in the village we adopted comprised of 3,000 people. The program recently got the attention of the President of Liberia and the heads of the University of Liberia who took interest in collaborating. Many of the children we adopted in the village are displaced after being left alone by their parents who fell ill due to the Ebola Virus. This is my most challenging project and I expect it may take over one year to complete with strategic partners and lots of care.
"Girl's education were not being addressed in the educational System...we are building the first of a series of "Girl Friendly" Schools."
"GIRL FRIENDLY SCHOOLS."
Int: Your work is absolutely amazing...Well...many of Your inspiring programs are especially for young generations. The children's world is so delicate and too often in danger. What's Your approach to new projects for them, what goals in particular have You planned?
HOST: Our children are our future and we must do everything we can to take care of them. In the U.S. I find a lot of children in the community fall into danger, violence, gangs, etc., all because they do not feel significant enough. Think about it, children join gangs because they want to feel a sense of belonging, the feeling of significance and having a support system that may not be in place at the home front. Kids will do anything to feel significant, even if it’s destructive. Now if we can create constructive programs to feel significant then we can eliminate all that. This is why we started a “Pay it Forward” community service program for our Adopt A Letter kids to become Hope Ambassadors of my foundation to help other families in need. This in return makes the child feel more appreciative of his or her life, and adds more meaning and value just by bringing hope to someone in desperate need. Our “Hope Ambassadors” are also given the opportunity to create their own charitable initiatives under the Kimberly Moore Foundation and as of today, they have touched the lives of over 10,000 children in the community and around the world. I am so proud to see many of our “Adopt A Letter” kids giving back and finding purpose at such a young age.
Int: When You look at the children in their eyes...I have noticed You always have a light that is inexplicable, impossible to put in words. You look like the Mother of every single child You encounter. The same love, a Mother has, brights in Your eyes to reassure them, to let them feel protected and safe. I really would like to have Your personal words to tell exactly what happens...Your feelings.
Host: It’s funny that you say that because I always say to our donors and volunteers that whenever you adopt a letter of a child, let’s try and think of them as our own children and ask ourselves, what would make this a day to remember for them? When a child asks for clothes, what kind of clothes would you buy them if they were your children and were to ask for warm clothes? You will not just get them a sweater, but you would get them a warm coat, hats, scarfs, warm long sleeve shirts and maybe even fuzzy warm socks etc. When we are with them, it’s important to make them feel special and loved, talk to them and listen wholeheartedly as we never know what they are going through just before we surprised them at their door. If we feel they can use a little more help, then let’s keep in touch with the family or and ask the parents if we can enroll the child in one of our programs. Every year I host an outdoor event and concert where children can bring me their Santa letters in person or nominate someone else in need. The event is comprised of about 5,000-10,000 children and families I’ve visited over the years. I have a really deep connection with the communities in Los Angeles and I really enjoy seeing our children grow up into adults, going to college and seeing them walk on the right path. These children indeed feel like my children and I’ve even become the Godmother of 5 and big sister to over a dozen children I keep in touch with regularly.
"Let's try and think of them
as our own children and ask
ourselves, what would make this
a day to remember for them?..."
Int: The outstanding programs You made to give a concrete hand everyday are so many... and they regard all aspects of life. They have been created exclusively for people who really have nothing... from goods and food need, the basic tools such as the light, books or music instruments for educational programs, work and career coaching and much much more..but..there is One thing that to me is the sign of Uniqueness of Your hard work...and it is that... most of all... You provide the underprivileged, especially the children and girls, with a Voice, a Better Future, Love, Presence, Facts. This to me and sure for many ... on this crazy planet, something so Good ! for present and future Generations!! Are You aware that Your person, Your amazing volunteers and programs are making History? Good History!
Host: I guess I don’t think so much if whether I am making history, however I would like to see the kids I work with do that. My only hope is that we can inspire more people to give back and charities to unite together to create bigger impact. I create programs to bring awareness of certain issues that are holding our communities back because of the lack of resources in these areas which is why it’s important to bring on other charities for help. If I want to make a more sustainable impact in a community, yes we can answer their letter, bring hope and a smile, but if we can also find a way to empower them to feel significant or become leaders of positive change in their own community, then we’ve done our job. I’ve watched kids grades levels jump up significantly after just 9 months of our program. I am proud to see many of our kids be the first in their family to graduate high school and go to college. This makes me happy! In order to make an impact in our community or in other countries, we need to totally immerse ourselves in their world and tailor programs according to their needs, not ours. This is the mistake many people and charities make. What good is it if we build a school after learning the child does not have electricity at home to do his or her homework? That is why started the “Adopt A Light” program for our students. What happens if we are building a school and a child does not have water, do you just ignore it for the sake of building a school? I honestly couldn’t. Even if we don’t have the resources, we either need to create a program or find ways to partner with other charities or organizations that have the infrastructure in place to help. Let’s say we build a school in Liberia and girls attending begin to menstruate, we will need to tackle this issue as well, otherwise we will lose more than half of our female students due to humiliation and lack of sanitary supplies if they are not being provided. Otherwise, girls that stay in school will resort to using dirt, leaves and dirty newspapers which is unsanitary and can cause a lot of health problems. Sex education, wellness and personal hygiene are serious things we need to consider and incorporate into our educational programs if we want to be successful in making an impact. I can go on and on about this subject!
Int: I know that You are supported by so many important sponsors and other philanthropists as well, and that You share All this with Your Husband, very talented singer and musician Mr Rick Vanderkleijn too...tell us more about it.
Host: My husband is perhaps one of the most talented singer/musicians I have ever met. We both share a passion for music and he’s somewhat intrigued with my field of work with children but probably not ready to make it his life dedication just yet! I thank God that he is very supportive when I have to travel for long periods of time to do my life’s work in dangerous countries. I don’t think many men would feel comfortable with my schedule and may even try to come in between my work. Occasionally my husband volunteers to come on the road with me and collaborate on different ideas to create impact. When you are able to witness impact like this, something changes within you forever. I can definitely see a beautiful shift in our relationship each time we return from our missions.
"I Thank God That he is very supportive when I have to travel for
long periods of time to do my life's work in dangerous countries."
Int: Usually there's always an inspiring person in our life who has represented or represent a firm point to look at. For somebody is the Mother or the Father, for somebody else is a Leader or a Hero from the past ? Have You got any or one Special Person Who inspires You?
Host: I’ve had many inspiring people in my life growing up and they all played a significant role in my life. Barbara DeVorzon, was my best friend who adopted me into her life as a daughter after learning I adopted the letters of thousands of children in the community. She was my 2nd mom. She was one of the most positive people I have ever met, always there for me, taught me to never give up on my dreams. She was elegant, wise, witty and full of laughter and a ball of energy. Even until the end of her life when she became challenged with health issues, she never let anyone or anything dim her light that shined ever so bright.
"My best friend who adopted me into her life as a daughter after learning
I adopted the letters of thousands of children in the community."
Mrs Barbara De Vorzon
My 2nd, mentor until this day is my good friend Michael Muna, who became a big brother 17 years ago. Michael is one of the most determined people I have ever met and has such a deep appreciation for life. He has his health challenges, however he is a fighter and perhaps one of the strongest people I know. He encourages me every step of the way to the point that nothing seems impossible. There is no way I can make the impact I did without his support. He has become my family in Los Angeles, and was even my first supporter of my Adopt A Letter program. He believes in my work so much he even provided a large home/office/ storage for me to do my work peacefully after learning I have dedicated my life entirely to helping children. He is a great friend, full of integrity, great advice, funny jokes and doesn’t take life too seriously. He taught me that life is only as complicated as we make it and he’s right! I am so grateful and blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.
"...no way I can make the impact I did without his support. He has become my family in
Los Angeles.......and was even my first supporter of my Adopt A Letter program."
Int: What about the Future? How do You cope with the Idea of a Better Tomorrow to built? What are Your
brand new programs that will involve people's attention and donations? Any news we might spread to
help the Kimberly Moore Foundation?
Host: I tend to run my programs a little different. My foundation grows according to the needs of
the people. I see myself getting more and more involved in education and creating programs
that empower our children and give them a sense of purpose early on. If we empower them
early on, then I know they will do the same for their children.
Right now, we are working on a documentary film for Liberia to help bring more awareness on
some of the most urgent issues our children are facing when it comes to education and the
importance of charities working together to make a difference. We hope this will inspire more
people out there to help and get involved.
We are currently seeking donations for our Adopt A Country - Liberia project, as we are
starting from the ground up. Liberia just so happens to be one of the 5 poorest
countries in the world. Our children do not have any clothes or shoes and only
one water well shared by 3,000 people which is not enough and the only thing
they have to eat is white rice. Our goal is to open our new school in Liberia
this fall, bring them safe and clean drinking water, organize a medical camp
before kids start school, provide farming and agricultural training, a vocational
school and much more. We are in need of donors, sponsors and charitable
partners who would like to join us on our mission and be part of our think tank
to bring hope to the people of this village.
We are excited to go back to this village in the next couple months. In spite of
them not having much, these were some of the happiest people I have ever
met in my life. Every day they expressed their appreciation to us by song and
dance. We can learn a lot from them. Spending nearly a month in the village
has been life changing for me and everyone involved. We know it will be
such an impact for all who get involved.
"I see myself getting more and more involved
in education and creating programs that empower
our children and give them a sense of purpose
early on. If we empower them early on, then I
know they will do the same for their children."
Int: We will for sure follow and update this page constantly with Your news and at any time You want we can meet and chat some more and share with You all the Good History You are making everyday. It's nice also because You gave me and TheMagazyne's readers the great opportunity to be part of that Good Making History, It's amazing to do some good for people in need.
It has been an Honor for me to interview such a Unique Person like You Baroness Moore. Thanks once more for been here with us and You know that TheMagazyne is, and always will be, ready to support Your wonderful Kimberly Moore Foundation and All its programs. And now..Would be nice to complete this interview with Your special message to All our readers who we do hope will be Your Future Foundation's donators or volunteers.
Host: When I had my accident, I realized that our purpose in this life is to evolve, and we can only evolve through giving. I believe that each of us was given a unique gift and talent, and those gifts are there for us to give away and benefit every being on earth. My message is: Live your life doing what you love and most passionate about, then try to figure out a way you can use that to help and inspire other people. I promise you, there is no better feeling in the world!