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Lysa Heslov
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.

Entries by Lysa Heslov

Empathy for the "Devil:" Exchanging Introspection for Outrospection

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 7:09 PM

It's hard to believe, but we are already almost three months into a new year. Did you make any resolutions for 2016? If so, you're not alone: each time the calendar flips from December 31st to January 1st, millions of us practice the art of self-improvement: we vow to lose...

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Helping Children Make Sense of the Earthquake In Nepal

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 4:46 PM

On Friday, April 24, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck just before noon local time about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal. It was around 20 times more powerful than the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010.

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is densely populated with nearly 2.5 million people,...

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Look for the Helpers: Fostering Activism in Our Youth is Simpler Than You Think

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 2:49 PM


Fred Rogers (perhaps better known simply as "Mister Rogers") was once quoted as saying, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people...

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Think Empathy's Just a Nice Idea? Think Again...

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 2:51 PM

Empathy In Action: How a Concept is Making Real Change In the World


The world can be a scary and confusing place when you're a kid, even if you're one of the lucky ones and have every imaginable amenity at your...

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We Are All the Same: Teaching Empathy Through the Arts

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 1:03 PM

As the 2013 calendar year winds down, we here at Children Mending Hearts (CMH) are preparing to wrap up our fall semester of programming. It's been a very busy semester with CMH Global Arts programs in session at six sites with 17 classes between them. In addition to the expansion...

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Children Mending Hearts Honors Bethany Hamilton, Carson Meyer at 4th Annual Spring Benefit

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2012 | 2:47 PM

CHILDREN MENDING HEARTS 4th ANNUAL SPRING BENEFIT - A Day of Fun for the Whole Family Honoring Bethany Hamilton and Carson Meyer
Pacific Palisades, CA - Sunday April 22, 2012


"CMH is filling the gap that is left by such brutal funding...

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Children Mending Hearts and With You Japan Reach Out to Kids in Motegi

(1) Comments | Posted August 25, 2011 | 3:07 PM

Trying to explain to a child why his world has suddenly been turned upside down after an event like the devastating natural disasters that took place last March in Japan is impossible. In situations such as these, parents are likely plagued with the same question weighing on their children's minds...

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Children Mending Hearts Introduces the Spotlight Program

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 2:19 PM

I must weep at least four times a day. Driving down Ventura Blvd., pondering something completely innocuous, my face streaming with tears; I can only imagine what the people who pull up beside me at stoplights must think when they look over and wonder why I'm sporting a pair of...

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Children Mending Hearts Visits Haiti

(12) Comments | Posted April 16, 2011 | 1:24 PM

I recently had the honor of working with the beautiful children of Artists for Peace and Justice. I can't say enough about this wonderful organization. They have virtually no staff (by choice) and have been able to change the lives of thousands of Haitians. They are a grassroots...

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Haiti: Day One With Children Mending Hearts

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2011 | 11:35 AM


We arrived in Haiti easily enough although we ended up having 37 duffel bags full of supplies for the children, an American Airlines first. It took us an hour and half to reach our hotel. A drive that normally would have taken 20...

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A Day at the Children Mending Hearts Please Mr. President Arts Workshop

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2010 | 2:04 PM

"I wasn't going to come today because I didn't think anyone really cared about us." -- Eight-year-old homeless girl.

Words spoken to me by an eight-year-old homeless girl at our Please Mr. President event in Las Vegas last Saturday. We expected six hundred at risk children at the Children Mending...

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Chad Ochocinco was at Our Children Mending Hearts Event, And Made One Little Boy's Day

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2010 | 12:29 PM

Children Mending Hearts is a global arts exchange between at-risk children in America and children living in conflict zones that educates, empowers and encourages children and gives them a voice, inspiring them to a sense of empathy and desire for peace.

I thought news of our...

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Moments That Make Struggles Seem Meaningless

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 5:24 PM

Children Mending Hearts is a global arts exchange between at-risk children in America and children living in conflict zones that educates, empowers and encourages children and gives them a voice, inspiring them to a sense of empathy and desire for peace.

Children Mending Hearts' big Peace Please gala...

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