Lysa Heslov, founder and president of Children Mending Hearts, was born in Savannah, Georgia. After moving to Los Angeles, Lysa became a successful independent film producer. She produced such indie favorites as Black Circle Boys, Attention Shoppers, Bug, and Hank Azaria’s Nobody’s Perfect. Lysa recently took a hiatus from producing to raise her two children, Maya and Olivia.
Lysa’s humanitarian efforts began with Hurricane Katrina. Days after the storm, Lysa and her husband donated all of their airline miles and were able to purchase sixteen plane tickets to evacuate survivors from the Hurricane. Soon after, Lysa heard of a Katrina family that had lost virtually everything, and were days away from being evicted from their temporary housing. In the five months the family lived with the Heslovs, they were able to get back on their feet, rebuild their lives, and have a new home of their own.
Last year, Lysa ran the APLA marathon to raise funds for people suffering from AIDS living in the Los Angeles area.
After losing her sister-in-law and best friend to breast cancer, Lysa, along with a supportive team, walked 40 miles and raised over $40,000 for cancer research.
Lysa traveled to Darfur’s refugee camps in November 2007 where she led a kite-building workshop, which culminated in the first ever Darfur Kite Festival. Her experiences in Darfur compelled her to create her non-profit, Children Mending Hearts, in order to use the creative arts to help children suffering from conflict.
In January 2009, Lysa traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo on behalf of her support for the International Medical Corps to conduct an art/photo exchange between at-risk children in the United States and their brothers and sisters in Africa. The exchange began with an arts workshop with at-risk children at Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles who created scrapbooks that were given to the refugee kids in Congo.
In February 2010, she again returned to the DR Congo, this time traveling with Women for Women International. Lysa and her team conducted letter writing, painting and puppet-making workshops with refugee children, as well as children of the women enrolled in the WfW training programs in Bukavu. They also traveled to the sourthern end of Lake Kivu where they worked with children in an orphanage.
Lysa is currently working toward a Masters in Child Development. In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Krupnick Award for best college essay, entitled “Coming of Age.” She is currently writing a self-help book, Coming of Age At Any Age.
Lysa is married to writer/director/producer Grant Heslov who, along with George Clooney, wrote and produced "Good Night, And Good Luck," which was nominated for six Academy Awards.