By Heidi Johnson
The Charity Matters Podcast shares the stories of innovators, entrepreneurs and inspiring modern-day heroes who set out to solve the problems of humanity with their incredible journeys of service. Join us each week for a front-row seat to the best of humanity.
Episode 52: CURE Epilepsy
Today's guest is a perfect example of one woman with a huge goal. Susan Axlerod is the founder of Cure Epilepsy. She will inspire you with the remarkable story of her journey to find a cure for epilepsy to help her daughter. It is a story you don't want to miss and the perfect way to start your year and ours. Susan set out to achieve a goal 25 years ago. Each year Susan and her community paved the way and ultimately raising ninety million dollars towards epilepsy research.
February 01, 2023
Episode 51: Free Wheelchair Mission
Did you know that there are 75 million people on this planet in need of a wheelchair? Can you imagine being dialed and not having access to get around? That is only one of the amazing facts I learned from today's guest, Don Schoendorfer. Don is the founder of Free Wheelchair Mission. His story is incredible, as is his work in providing over one million wheelchairs to people in need. Join us today to learn how a MIT Bioengineer changed his life and millions of others. You won't want to miss this amazing conversation. Don Schoendorfer is a truly special human who is an inspiration for all with his journey of service.
November 17, 2022
Episode 50: Mindful Littles
As parents we all want our children to be kind, empathetic and good humans. If you are reading this you are definitely someone with those goals. Recently, when a mutual friend introduced me to today's guest, Tanuka Gordon I was intrigued by the name of her nonprofit, Mindful Littles. The conversation with Tanuka was even more intriguing.
November 03, 2022
Episode 49: Free to Thrive
Join us today for an inspirational conversation with Jamie Beck, the Founder of the nonprofit Free to Thrive. Jamie shares with us an insight into human tracking and remarkable work she and her team are doing to help so many.
October 19, 2022
Episode 48: The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation
Join us today for an inspirational story about the power of one family's love and the incredible legacy Jimmy Miller has left on thousands with the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation. An organization that uses adaptive surfing, to help children with disabilities, veterans, health care workers and so many more heal through their amazing work and the power of the ocean.
October 05, 2022
Episode 47: Drink Local Drink Tap
One of the questions I always love asking our guests is, "Did you grow up helping others?" It is always fascinating to see where and when the seed of compassion took root in all the incredible people who do nonprofit work. Today's guest, Erin Huber has an incredible life experience of serving others that started at age 12, founded her first nonprofit at 16 and continues to this day with her award winning nonprofit, Drink Local Drink Tap. Join us for an inspirational conversation about what one person can really do to change the world. Erin Huber has been changing it for decades. Her work ethic, passion for helping others and amazing life journey is an inspiration for us all.
September 29, 2022
Episode 46: A Place At The Table
Today's guest, Maggie Kane has created an amazing community and a wonderfully unexpected solution for homelessness. Her nonprofit, A Place at the Table, provides community and good food regardless of means. Her delicious Raleigh, North Carolina café is a cozy, warm, friendly café with great food and everyone is welcome.
September 15, 2022
Episode 45: Happy Community Builders
Over the years in all of my conversations, the story in founding a nonprofit usually involves a tragedy. Today's conversation all began with one man who was going to become a grandparent and didn't like the world his future grandchild would inherit. So, he got to work in trying to create a better world with kindness through his nonprofit The Happy Community Builders.
August 31, 2022
Episode 44: The Silverstein Foundation and author of Simple Acts, A Busy Teens Guide To Making A Difference
Welcome to Season 4 of the Charity Matters Podcast. We are thrilled to continue bringing the best humans on earth to share their journeys in service to others. Join us for a terrific conversation about her journey starting a nonprofit for Parkinson's to writing a book to inspire others to serve. Natalie is pure sunshine in a bottle and just what we need to get inspired for a new school year. More importantly, her new book, Simple Acts: The Busy Teen's Guide to Making a Difference is an inspiration for the entire family.
August 24, 2022
Episode 43: Roots for Boots
Today is Memorial Day, a national day when we honor and recognize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of service. So it is only fitting that today we are having a conversation with an incredible nonprofit Roots for Boots that serves those who serve, our veterans. Join us today as Christy Lucus talks about her mission basiclaly meet whatever need or challenge a veteran active duty or military family would have.
May 29, 2022
Episode 42: Greenline Housing Foundation
If you are not familiar with the history of redlining then you need to listen to this episode! Today's conversation is an education that many of us didn't have and an important issue that we all need to learn about. Join us today as Jasmin Shupper, the Founder of Greenline Housing Foundation, discusses the history of redlining and her nonprofit's mission to help facilitate the closing of the racial wealth gap by providing grants to qualified people of color for down payments and home maintenance assistance. Jasmin is an inspiration and a bright light!
May 18, 2022
Episode 41: Sow Good Now
Mary and her friends were all college athletes and mothers of athletes. They had seen teams of kids that had too much and they had seen those with too little. They decided they could change all that with their nonprofit Sow Good Now. Join us for an uplifting conversation about a new way to teach philanthropy, leadership, and service to students.
May 11, 2022
Episode 40: Girls Leading Girls
Today's conversation is equally inspiring because that is exactly what our guest, Bre Russell does, coach soccer and SO much more! Join us as Bre shares her inspirational journey from a student-athlete to a nonprofit founder teaching thousands of young women how to lead.
May 04, 2022
Episode 39: West Coast Sports Associates
Twenty-five years ago four college buddies who loved sports decided to change all of that for thousands of kids across Southern California. Join us today for a fantastic conversation with one of the founders of West Coast Sports Associates, Mike Gottlieb. As Mike shares the journey of turning a passion for sports into an incredible nonprofit organization that has raised millions for inner-city youth.
April 20, 2022
Episode 38: Foster The Mind
Brian's nonprofit, Foster the Mind helps children from the foster care system who struggle with trauma and mental health challenges from trauma. Join us for a fascinating conversation looking at mental health and the foster care system in a totally different way with our guest Brian Butler. This conversation will most definitely open your mind!
April 07, 2022
Episode 37: Empty Frames Initiatives
The Empty Frames Initiative is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower orphaned and vulnerable youth as they transition out of state foster care by providing community, training in life skills and counseling. Join us today to meet Miriam and learn about the beautiful work she is doing to help our young adults as they age out of the Foster Care System.
March 30, 2022
Episode 36: Miracle Messages
Have you ever seen a homeless person on the street and walked by because you didn't know what to do or say? Today's guest, Kevin Adler, is going to enlighten all of us as he shares his inspirational journey of reuniting the homeless with their family with the help of the non-profit Miracle Messages.
March 16, 2022
Episode 35: Beverly Hills Community Farm
This week’s guest is Jennifer Levy from Beverly Hills Community Farm. Join us for an educational and fascinating conversation about the exciting new ways Jennifer and her nonprofit organization are educating and feeding her community with her innovative work.
February 23, 2022
Episode 34: Saving Tiny Hearts
Today’s guests are Francie Paul and Larry Kluge. When Francie Paul's son Joshua was born with CHD she and her husband Brian decided to make a positive impact for their child and so many others. They founded the nonprofit Saving Tiny Hearts. If ever there were two humans with huge hearts to mend all the broken ones it's Francie and Larry.
February 16, 2022
Episode 33: NonProfit on the Rocks
Today's guest is Matt Kamin. Matt has lived a life full of philanthropy in so many ways. Before Matt became the host of the popular podcast, Nonprofit on the Rocks...which is how we met and Co-Founder of Envision Consulting, he was a two-time nonprofit founder. Matt's story is the perfect example of how one seed of compassion turned into an inspiring life full of service. Matt is truly a ray of sunshine and you won't want to miss our joyful and uplifting conversation.
February 02, 2022
Episode 32: Diveheart
Welcome to Season Three of the Charity Matters Podcast! We are so excited to introduce you to another incredible season filled with amazing heroes. Today's guests are the perfect way to dive into this new season. Nonprofit Diveheart.org works with people with disabilities to live better lives. This is the perfect organization to launch Season Three of our podcast. So let’s dive in!
January 19, 2022
Episode 31: Raise The Barr
Join us today for an incredible conversation with Lori Barr about her journey as a single mother to nonprofit founder. Lori shares her story of raising Anthony as a young mother and how they decided to give back to help other single moms finish their education and support their families.
December 08, 2021
Episode 30: Bisous for Leo
Emily Steckler had a career in public relations when her best friend's son, Leo, was diagnosed with a rare disease changing the course of so many lives. Join us for a beautiful conversation about love, friendship, hope and the incredible journey to find a cure to INAD for five year old Léo. Learn about the work that Emily and her best friend Deborah are doing to help millions with their amazing organization Bisous for Léo.
November 17, 2021
Episode 29: Oath to Country Foundation
Justin has founded the nonprofit organization Oath to Country Foundation to provide support for our Veterans. This inspirational conversation about family, love, and service brought me to tears more than once. Justin's story, commitment, and determination to serve those who have so bravely served us is an inspiration for us all. Take a listen.
November 11, 2021
Episode 28: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PanCAN
We all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month but did you know November begins Pancreatic Awareness month? Join me today to meet the inspirational leader of Pancreatic Cancer Action NetworkorPanCAN Julie Fleshman and learn about her incredible journey in changing lives.
October 27, 2021
Episode 27: The Pollination Project
Through the most unexpected and roundabout way I had the privilege of being connected to today's amazing guest, Ariel Nessel the founder of The Pollination Project. Ariel is a successful real estate developer by day, a practicing yogi and an inspirational human being. You are not going to want to miss this incredible conversation about what inspired Ari to rethink philanthropy and create The Pollination Project.
October 13, 2021
Episode 26: Love Not Lost
Join us today for an incredible conversation with Ashley Jones, the founder of Love Not Lost. Ashley shares her journey through grief with the loss of her young daughter and her transformational experience from loss to creating a remarkable organization that provides family photoshoots for the terminally ill.
September 29, 2021
Episode 25: The BumbleBee Foundation
A few months back we asked all of our Instagram followers to send us their favorite nonprofits and one of the many was an organization called The BumbleBee Foundation. I reached out to Heather Donatini and we had an incredible conversation. Join us today to listen to the heartwarming conversation with Heather Donatini, aka Queen Bee of the BumbleBee Foundation. Heather and her husband Jason, established the Bumblebee Foundation in 2011 in memory of their son Jarren who was diagnosed with rare liver cancer at the age of three. Their mission is to inspire hope, faith, and the overall well-being of pediatric cancer families.
September 15, 2021
Episode 24: Be Perfect Foundation
One remarkable person I have met through Charity Matters is Hal Hargrave. Hal was involved in a tragic accident that left him paralyzed fourteen years ago. He used that experience to serve others suffering paralysis with his nonprofit the Be Perfect Foundation. Trust me, this will be a gift you give yourself today. The man is pure light and inspiration.
September 01, 2021
Episode 23: Our Wave
As thousands of students head back to college this month it seemed like a good time to revisit our conversation with Kyle Linton and Laura Sinko on the topic of sexual assault. While never a comfortable topic, it is an important one. There are more than 433,638 sexual assaults in the United States each year. Join us today for an insightful conversation from two incredible perspectives about the new and exciting ways Our Wave is bringing healing to tens of thousands through their work.
August 25, 2021
Episode 22: Until There's a Cure
Join us as Nora Hanna and I discuss how the landscape has changed for AIDS and the beauty of what happens when people come together to make a difference. So often we think with nonprofits we are taking on impossible causes. This conversation was so enlightening because it really shows us that time and commitment result in positive changes. Until There is a Cure is a wonderful example of one organization's mission to continue to educate the world on HIV AIDS.
August 17, 2021
Episode 21: The Yellow Heart Committee
People say that youth is wasted on the young, and never has that statement been less true than with this incredible nonprofit founder, N'dea Johnson. At only 24 years old she has undergone incredible personal loss and trauma and has used that to help others with her two-year-old nonprofit The Yellow Heart Committee. Hear N'dea Johnson's inspirational story of loss and perseverance as she works to heal and serve survivors of sexual assault and trauma.
August 11, 2021
Episode 20: Once Upon A Room
Join us today for a fantastic conversation with the three Once Upon A Room founders; Jenny Hull, her daughter Josie Hull and Josie's best friend Sienna Dancsecs. We will learn about Jenny Hull's incredible journey from being a celebrity assistant to an adoptive mother and nonprofit founder. These three remarkable humans will inspire you with their friendship, love, and beautiful work helping thousands of children and families each year.
August 03, 2021
Episode 19: Anne Pollack, Crossing Point Arts
Join us for today's podcast to learn about Anne Pollack's own story of healing through creativity and the path that lead her to found Crossing Point Arts. It is an incredible journey where all of life's paths intersect at a place of service. Ann shares her story using her multiple gifts as an artist to heal victims of human trafficking. Photo credit: @seanwaltrous
August 03, 2021
Episode 18: Stéphan Pieterse, Distance for Difference
People often come into your path for a reason. Stéphan Pieterse is the founder of the South African nonprofit Distance for Difference. This week's news has more violence in South Africa and is a perfect time to share Stéphan's message of hope, love, and goodness.
July 27, 2021
Season 2, Episode 17: Happy 10th Anniversary Charity Matters!
Today, we are excited to be celebrating our anniversary with the launch of Season Two of the Charity Matters Podcast. We are looking back at some of the incredible people we met along our journey who have taught us so much about life, kindness, compassion, community, connection, and ourselves. So join us as we look back and get excited for what is ahead.
July 15, 2021
Episode 16: Havens House
I am so excited to share our conversation about Abeni's work helping high school youth deal with homelessness, her journey in founding Haven's House Youth Services, and how she juggles it all. The motto "Actions Not Words" from our alma mater definitely made an impact.
May 12, 2021
Episode 15: Infinite Strength
As a breast cancer survivor, Roberta wondered about the women she sat with in treatment who didn't have the same resources she did, and she was determined to change that. Infinite Strength supports undeserved women with the financial costs associated with breast cancer.
May 05, 2021
Episode 14: Building Families With Help Us Adopt
Becky Fawcett, the founder of Help Us Adopt, and I caught up and had a fantastic conversation about what motivates her and her incredible mission to build families. Join us today for a fun conversation that will have you inspired and remind you that one person can make a difference!
April 28, 2021
Episode 13: Her Smile, A Lesson In Divine Time
It is a rare human that touches our soul. When my path crosses with these angels on earth there is something indescribable that happens. Dena Betta shares her message of love and resilience after losing her 14-year-old daughter, Jenna, in a tragic accident.
April 21, 2021
Episode 12: Alexandria House
Join us today to hear our fascinating conversation with today's guest, Sister Judy Vaughan. We discuss everything from her work in founding Alexandria House to her tattoo, her motto, her sheroes, their feature in Justin Beiber's video, and most importantly to her tireless dedication to the community.
April 14, 2021
Episode 11: Fotolanthrophy, Storytelling With A Purpose
Katie Norris founded Fotolanthropy, a nonprofit that combines photography + film + philanthropy to share inspiring true stories of people who have overcome adversity. When I first read about her, I knew I needed to meet her.
April 06, 2021
Episode 10: Ryan Seacrest Foundation Listening To The Heart
Today's guest, Meredith Seacrest, is the Executive Director of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. And yes, she is Ryan Seacrest's sister. I'm excited to share our inspiring conversation about their families' journey in service and the incredible way they are using their gifts to help eleven children's hospitals across the country.
March 30, 2021
Episode 9: America’s Kids Belong
Have you ever had a call that changed your life? Brian Mavis and his wife Julie both did and that call was to help children. More specifically the 400,000 children who are part of the foster care system in this country. Three-quarters of those children will be reunited with their family or another family member. The remaining 100,000 children need forever homes. What these children have in common is that they all need a home whether a temporary or a permanent one.Join us today for a fascinating conversation with Brian Mavis as he shares his family's calling and journey in starting America's Kids Belong. The remarkable story of what one family has done to change what family means for thousands and thousands of children.
March 24, 2021
Episode 8: Rhonda's Kiss A Mother's Legacy
We never know when life is going to change in an instant. Kyle Stefanski is one of five children who grew up with a big happy family in Cleveland, Ohio. Kyle's mom Rhonda was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014 and passed away eight short weeks later. Their family was devastated but knew that their mom, Rhonda would want them to do something positive for others. The result and legacy is a nonprofit called, Rhonda's Kiss, a nonprofit organization that supports cancer patients with the non-medical expenses that come with cancer.
March 16, 2021
Episode 7: The Ternan's, Song for Charlie
There is nothing more painful or devastating than the death of a child. When Charlie Ternan died last spring at age 22, just three weeks shy of his college graduation, from fentanyl poisoning it devastated his family and the community. The pill he got online turned out to be a fake painkiller made of the dangerous opioid fentanyl. Since Charlie's death, his parents, Mary and Ed Ternan have been researching fake pills and fentanyl and have formed a nonprofit, Song For Charlie dedicated to warning young people about this growing danger.
March 09, 2021
Episode 6: Alma's Backyard Farm a lesson in feeding the soul
In today's episode, we discuss the origins of Alma's Backyard Farms. The journey that brought Richard Garcia and Erika Cuellar to Compton and to begin their nonprofit organization. What fuels them to do this work and the life lessons learned in the process of creating this amazing organization that exists to reclaim the lives of formerly incarcerated people.
March 03, 2021
Episode 1: Heidi Johnson, Charity Matters
With my first episode, let me re-introduce myself to those of you who are just joining us. My name is Heidi Johnson and I am the founder of Charity Matters. Ten years ago, after starting a nonprofit with a group of friends, I decided that the world was focusing on the wrong people. I began a search to find my tribe, an incredible group of entrepreneurs who worked tirelessly to solve the problems of humanity. Nonprofit founders. I was one but I wanted to understand why millions of people across the country started businesses to help people?
January 25, 2021
Episode 2: Rabih Torbay, Project HOPE
Project HOPE places power in the hands of local health care workers to save lives around the world. In this episode, Rabih and I discuss how he – a civil engineer with no medical background – became involved with the work of Project HOPE and how that experience has changed his life forever.
January 25, 2021
Episode 3: Eyvette Jones Johnson, Urban Possibilities
There are no words to contain my excitement about today's episode of the Charity Matters Podcast. Eyvette Jones-Johnson is one of the most soulful and remarkable humans I have ever had the privilege of talking to. Get excited as she shares her amazing journey from growing up in the Southside of Chicago to a successful television producer and now entrepreneur nonprofit founder. Eyvette and her husband are the founders of Urban Possibilities, a nonprofit that provides inner-city job seekers the tools to reach their highest potential from the inside out. This episode is good for your soul!
January 25, 2021
Episode 4: Cathy Gott, Danny's Farm
I'm so excited to share today's conversation with you. I've known and admired Cathy Gott for a very long time. We both raised our sons in the same small town outside of LA. A small city where everyone knows everyone and supports one another. Cathy has always been a bright light, someone with amazing energy, and a person who makes things happen. She and her husband, (legendary baseball pitcher) Jim Gott have two sons, Danny and Nick. When Danny was diagnosed with autism Cathy and Jim went to work.
January 25, 2021
Episode 5: Amel Najjar, Children of War Foundation
A few months back a girlfriend of mine set up a lunch to introduce me to her incredible friend, Amel Najjar. Our lunch began at noon and ended at four and could have gone on all day. Amel is one of the most interesting, inspirational, and real people you will ever meet. I am excited for you to get to know Amel and her amazing journey from growing up in Jordan and witnessing war first hand to beginning the Children of War Foundation. When people say one person can not make a difference, they have not met Amel Najjar!
January 25, 2021