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Gift of Life Los Angeles

Rating: 5 stars   13 reviews 217

Nonprofit Issues:

Address:

5737 Kanan Road #541 Agoura Hills CA 91301 USA

Mission:

The mission statement for the Gift of Life - Los Angeles is to help save the lives of children suffering from Congenital Heart Disease, and other related illnesses, who lack access to medical and/or financial resources regardless of race, gender, creed, or other national origin. We are also of the belief that to truly heal the heart of a child, we must ensure their health and well-being and provide the necessary assistance to build a healthy future for these precious children.

Results:

Gift of Life Los Angeles has saved the lives of more than 200 children who suffer from congenital heart disease while our parent organization of Gift of Life International has given the gift of life to over 12,000 children who otherwise would have perished. Sustainable programs are being developed around the world with the current focus being Uganda, El Salvador, and Jamaica.

Target demographics:

Impoverished children ages 0 - 17 years around the world.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

818-625-7402
www.giftoflifela.org

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Reviews for Gift of Life Los Angeles

Rating: 5 stars  

I am so impressed with Gift of Life LA and the impact it has made in children's lives since its inception. Gift of Life LA is the voice for those children who otherwise wouldn't have a chance for life-saving medical procedures. The efforts made in El Salvador to bring a sustainable pediatric cardiac program to Bloom Hospital are admirable and inspiring.
Brenda Small, the Director, is a passionate, caring individual with incredible drive and motivation to help those less fortunate. I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors of Gift of Life LA!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

witnessing very sick children receive the gift of life to lead normal healthy lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

seek more volunteers to help support the mission!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have seen first -hand what an inspirational organization Gift of Life - Los Angeles is. It never ceases to amaze me how much Brenda Small, the president, has accomplished in such a short amount of time. In 2003 the goal was to save one child's life every year born with congenital heart disease . In 2010 Gift of Life - Los Angeles saved over 100 children's lives and in 2011 will save another 150 more. Gift of Life - Los Angeles goes beyond saving children's lives by training " in country" surgical staffs with medical missions from other countries. In El Salvador alone, 28 children were operated on by their own doctors so far this year! Unthinkable a year ago. It went beyond the walls of the hospital and started a Nutritional Assistance program offering over 100 children and their families food and vitamin supplements so that these children can fully recover after their life-saving surgery. Two destroyed homes were completely rebuilt with the help of Rotary, Gift of Life - Los Angeles and Gift of Life International. They care about each child they save, not just before, but after surgery! Their goal is to create an sustainable pediatric care unit in every country where it is needed if they could! It truly is an amazing and wonderful organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I work with Brenda Small on a weekly basis and I see how much time, effort and care she puts into this organization. I do not think there is a more devoted person or family than the Smalls when it comes to saving children's lives through Gift of Life - Los Angeles.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish more corporations and individuals would donate monies to such a worthy organization. I know as a fact that majority of the monies donated go directly to saving the children.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

GOL - LA has made a huge impact on the lives of countless numbers of children, families, government, and medical professionals as well in this tiny country of El Salvador. The extraordinary dedication and leadership of it's President Brenda Small towards this children is an inspiration. I have been a witness from day one of this tremendously successful program that has provided hope where there was only despair. GOL - LA not only provides the life saving surgeries to the children, but has also gone beyond the walls of the hospital to ensure their quality of life by creating a follow up program, placing them in a nutritional program, all school age children must attend classes, and parents are given vocational training to support their families

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I travel to El Salvador with GOL - LA, from the very beginnig, and I have experience the amazing job that this organization has provided to so many children

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not make any changes, but I am sending a plea for private and corporate donations for this humanitarian organization that is making a difference for the future of so many children.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

watching families in despair

Why did you make your donation at this time?

because there are more children in need of cardiac surgeries

What would you tell others about this organization?

about the incredible work they do, and donations do go for the program

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Gift of Life has been a grass root effort that has been responsible for saving the lives of over 150 children in the past few years. Gift of Life provides life saving surgery to children with congenital heart decease. Gift of Life is currently working in El Salvador bring hope and new life to many families. In addition to the surgeries they provide nutritional assistance to the families. Gift of Life Los Angeles was started by Brenda Small who has work tirelessly in this effort.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was able to attend a mission where I personally experienced the life saving and happiness it has brought to the families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more publicity for this group because the more money they raise the more lives they can save

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son was born with a congenital heart defect and saved by having open heart surgery here in the United States. As a volunteer for Gift of Life Los Angeles, I have been able to witness firsthand the extraordinary work that Brenda Small does everyday to help save lives of children in El Salvador and other impoverished countries. These amazing and brave children born with heart defects would die without the lifesaving surgeries they are given through the humanitarian efforts of Brenda and Gift of Life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I had the good fortune to meet Josslyn, one of the children from El Salvador whose life was saved by the Gift of Life program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hope that some corporate sponsors step up and there is even more money that comes into the GIft of Life program so that more lives can be saved in the future.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Gift of Life Los Angeles is an inspiring organization that epitomizes the true essence of a non-profit organization.

Under the extraordinary leadership of GOL-Los Angeles’s president, Brenda Small, this organization has saved the lives of over 100 children, whom otherwise would have died, had GOL-Los Angeles not initiated its charitable efforts to help children born with congenital heart disease in El Salvador. Brenda’s brilliance, unwavering dedication, and infinite energy are the basis of GOL-LA’s success.

My daughter has been to El Salvador a couple of times to provide hands-on support to the pediatric surgical team, the anxious families, and the children. She has seen children whose pallor was so blue because of their CHD made worse because of the lack of proper nutrition, and the anguish on the parent’s faces knowing that their child will die if they don’t receive that vital, life-saving surgery. She has visited their homes with no running water or electricity---AND she has seen many of these children given a second chance at life all because of the humanitarian efforts GOL-Los Angeles. In addition to receiving the necessary surgery, children and families now receive nutritional and hygienic aid, and in some cases, homes are rebuilt to provide a healthier environment.

Last summer, we were a host family to a 12 year old and his mother. As a host “mom,” I had the unforgettable experience of walking side-by-side a mother whose son wouldn’t see adulthood if he didn’t have open-heart surgery. And every step we took, Brenda and GOL-Los Angeles was there to support us.

I am awestruck as to how much Brenda and GOL-Los Angeles has accomplished and the profound impact this organization has made on hundred of lives----my family’s life included.

A Chinese proverb says, “ A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.”

Gift Of Life-Los Angeles leaves the most important mark of all ---literally the gift of a life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Fund raising, being a Host Mom for GOL L.A.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing, GOL L.A. is amazing!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The children of San Salvador are truly blessed to have GOL Los Angeles and the amazing support of its president, Brenda Small.

Over the past few years we have had the opportunity to see the results of this wonderful organization. Our daughter has accompanied Brenda to San Salvador on various missions and has witnessed first hand what it’s like to change a child’s life. Through their fund raising efforts offering life saving surgery’s do to Congenital Heart Disease, GOL offers amazing support not only for the children, but their families in both PRE and POST OP procedures.

In the summer of 2010, we were a host family to a 12 year old boy and his mother from San Vicente, San Salvador. Through the hard work of GOL Los Angeles, Brenda Small, in partnership with Mending Kids International, my entire family experienced this organization’s dedication in seeing this young man through his surgery and his return to a HEALTHY life in San Salvador, where he hopes one day to be a soccer star. Through their entire stay, GOL Los Angeles was here to help us, inspire us, and prove to us that they truly are “A GREAT NONPROFIT.”

Brenda Small has not only been and amazing mentor to my daughter, but she has truly changed and saved the life’s of so many in San Salvador. I wish I could give GOL Los Angeles more than five stars!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Fund raising, my daughters personal experience in visiting San Salvador, having the opportunity to be a host family in 2010.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Brenda can use all the volunteers / donations she can get. If she had 48 hours in the day, she would utilize them all.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Last year, my high school students held numerous fundraisers from car washes to lollipop sales to raise $42,000 to support the tremendous efforts of Gift of Life Los Angeles in El Salvador. I, personally, had the opportunity to go to San Salvador to meet with the pediatric cardiac surgeons, the families and the children who would die without the extraordinary work of Brenda Small and Gift of Life. In total, we sponsored several children to receive open heart surgery in various hospitals within the Unites States as well as helped support a medical mission at Bloom Hospital in San Salvador.

This is why the Gift of Life's approach is so SINGULAR. It is not simply about providing these children with life-saving heart surgery and walking away. The organization identifies the individual needs of the family and helps to meet them in order to ensure the long-term health of the child. These programs include free dental care, a nutritional network and, in some cases utilizing the extensive power of Rotary, the rebuilding of destroyed homes. It is this holistic approach to each individual child and family that makes the Gift of Life incredibly successful.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, the goal of Gift of Life is to create and foster a long-term sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery program obviating the need for outside help in just five years from the Our Hearts Are in program's onset. They do this by sponsoring numerous medical missions per year that specifically serve to train the nurses and doctors in the pre- and post-surgical care of these special patients. In this way, Gift of Life lifts a nation to ensure the survival of all of their children in need. It is this macroscopic perspective that makes me the most proud to be affiliated with and work for the Gift of Life Los Angeles.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have worked with various Gift of Life organizations and never have I encountered one, like Gift of Life Los Angeles, that gets the job done immediately. I know that in just weeks ALL of the donated funds are going right where they need to go. I completely trust that the spirit in which my teenagers gave has been realized in another country.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would get more people to donate!!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

The widespread need of so many susceptible children, who, with the surgery, could live, long healthy productive lives. It is my hope that each one of these children, their families and their villages walk through life knowing that, regardless of nationality, religion or political views, there are people throughout the world who believe that all children deserve the right to a healthy future.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

There are always children in need and therefore, every time is the right time to give.

What would you tell others about this organization?

I want others to know that Gift of Life the most impressive and successful organization that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. From the details of the child's overall health to the security of the family to the sustainability and future autonomy of the country's cardiac program, Gift of Life's goal is to put itself out of business, one country at a time.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As the Executive Director of Gift of Life International, I am very proud of the work that GOL Los Angeles has done on behalf of children around the world....especially in El Salvador where there have lead the global initiative 'Our Hearts Are in El Salvador'...this initiative has seen 131 Salvadoran children receive life-saving surgeries over the past 12 months while at the same time the context has been developed in El Salvador for the development of a sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery program in El Salvador which will ultimately account for 250 surgeries on a yearly basis. Gift of Life Los Angeles is a leader in ensuring the Salvadoran doctors and nurses will be empowered to provide the care to their own children and that the lives of the children and families will be transformed from despair to hope...a hope for a brighter and healthier future!! Rob Raylman, Executive Director Gift of Life International

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

El Salvador

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

They have the proper approach and are focused on raising the necessary monies to support their efforts

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a Citizen of El Salvador I have seen first hand the HUGE heart that the GIft of Life people in L.A. have ! They spill all their energy for our kids in El Salvador and in only 15 months have given the "gift of life" through life saving surgery to over 120 Salvadorean children.

They have also invested heavily in training our local Healthcare profesional team so as to strengthen the local expertice so that these congenital heart defects are done locally by Salvadorean doctors and therefore we can have a sustainable cardiac pediatric program !!

THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORT, and FOR ALL YOUR HEART FELT SUPPORT FOR THE CHILDREN OF EL SALVADOR !!

God Bless You !!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The smiles of each and every benefited child and their parents once the operation has been conducted. It really is a heart warming experience !

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them to have more volunteers in L.A. to help in the administrative work for doing all the followup with the over than 120 kids.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful?