Unfortunately, the world we live in is not a perfect place; hate, illness, distress, violence, heartache and anguish sometimes consume society and cause people to feel depressed and down. Some choose to stand by in hopelessness and assume that this is the way the world is and there is nothing anyone can do about it, but a group of selfless, generous and noble individuals have refused to let these factors consume positivity, love and compassion. This group’s name is Elevated Hearts; a Denver-based charitable organization devoted to spreading positivity and love with both small and large acts of kindness.
Elevated Hearts was founded by a freshman Psychology and Spanish student at the University of Colorado, Boulder named Molly Neenan, who firmly believes in the power of a smile, the impact of optimism and the ingenuity of the “Harry Potter”.
“I’ve been involved with a program called National Leadership Academy (NLA) for the past couple of years and I wanted to do something to help our world, but I had no idea how to do it,” Neenan said. “One night, we handed out balloons to people and that was how I got the idea for Elevated Hearts.”
The executive administrator of Elevated Hearts is a sophomore and Peace & Justice and Business Administration double major at Regis University named Bailey Gent, while fitness entrepreneur and international educator, Adam Baca, co-founded Elevated Hearts with Neenan.
“Watching my dad give to strangers on the streets and work at a special needs camp for 12 years inspired me to volunteer in the world,” Baca said. “He brought my sisters and I up with a sense of purpose to make the world better by helping people however we can. My dad also traveled with Mother Teresa and took a picture of her that we had hanging above the stairs in our home. I still have that picture.”
Rock Canyon junior Abby Castro, multimedia designer Brian Clark and videographer Leland Schmidt are also active and passionate members of Elevated Hearts who share the group’s love for reaching out to others.
“Right now, there’s so much darkness, negativity and hate in the world,” Castro said. “It’s so important to expand and embrace love and positivity because it can create peace.”
Despite the fact that they are a relatively new charity, Elevated Hearts has still accomplished great exploits in the Denver community like surprising Denver law enforcement officers with Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee and an extraordinary campaign called “A Day of Love”;
On Aug. 20, Elevated Hearts took to the streets and gave heart-shaped balloons and gift bags with the phrase “Take One, Give One” written on them to random people; inside the gift bags were two gift cards (one for the recipient, the other for the recipient to give to another) as well as positive little notes and Hershey’s chocolate kisses. Elevated Heart’s preparation for “A Day of Love” at Party City, the distribution of the balloons and gift bags, the heart touching reactions of the recipients and the warm, kind personalities of the members of Elevated Hearts were filmed and posted on YouTube:
“The idea for ‘Day of Love’ came from Molly when we were working at NLA,” Baca said. “She wanted to a balloon giveaway with gift cards and she came to me with the idea. I loved it, so we raised $1000 in one month to buy everything and got our friends together from NLA to help with it. It was great!”
Elevated Hearts classifies what they did in “A Day of Love” as “balloon launching” and they plan to do many more of them in the future as well as a special project for the holiday season; they are planning to conduct an event at the Children’s Hospital in which they will visit with patients and their families and cheer them up by hanging out with them and bringing them gifts. To help Elevated Hearts accomplish this event, please visit their Go Fund Me and Venmo pages at the links below and contribute whatever you can to their cause.
“Spreading love and positivity is vital, especially in a time where the media is portraying so much negativity in the world,” Neenan said. “There’s such an amazing feeling you can get from doing a simple act of kindness and it’s worth so much more than any like or favorite on social media. When one person goes out of their way to help someone else, it can start a chain reaction of kindness and gratitude.”
To say the members of Elevated Hearts are kind and compassionate is a massive understatement. Organizations like Santa’s Workshop, Peacejam, Key Club and the Denver Rescue Mission have inspired them to lend a helping hand to others and increase hope in people.
“There will always be hope, so you should be the hope for others,” Castro said. “We’re all humans longing for connection and love, so it’s important to be the light in this dark story.”
When asked about to describe the mission of Elevated Hearts in one word, Baca and Castro both replied, “Love”. Their belief is that spreading love is not only important, it is vital.
“Too many people are afraid of the world, so we have to wake up and see that love and positivity are the driving forces that will get us away from that mindset,” Baca said. “People are starving for love, hope and connection, so we need to start feeding each other’s souls by doing what we can.”
If you are interested in volunteering with Elevated Hearts (great opportunity to get those 20 hours of required community service), learning more about their mission or keeping up with their daring deeds, please contact them by email or social media at the links below.
Instagram – @elevatedhearts
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/elevatedhearts/
E-Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Website – http://www.elevatedhearts.org/
Children’s Hospital Event Go Fund Me – https://www.gofundme.com/2my7xg6k
Children’s Hospital Event Venmo – Elevated-Hearts