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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Relief

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.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Victor S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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 !!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization, that really does make a difference. They ask for very little from the community, and with each donation, you can learn about the children that are receiving Life Saving Heart Surgery at some of the finest hospitals in America. They have garnered great respect in the community and within the medical community. Brenda Small has worked tirelessly on creative ways of getting monetary support including donation plans for all levels and donating towards the nutritional support programs for the aftercare of the patients.

Brenda Small has been instrumental in brining to light what we take for granted - accessible medical care. She has been a huge champion and advocate for the children that are in dire need of Heart Surgery. This is the only organization that I volunteer for and it's really a charity where you can meet the recipient and see how the fundraised dollars benefit the patient.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Brenda Small and Gift of Life Los Angeles do a wonderful job to help the people of El Salvador

Rik Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Gift of Life for many years. Every year I feel such emotion when seeing the look in the childrens eyes after receiving life saving heart surgeries. Nothing is better then first, saving a life, then second, seeing then gow and thrive!!