Most people don’t remember their fourth day of 1st grade. For me, that was the day that changed my life.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana when I was only six years old. My family and I evacuated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the kindness of others brought us food, clothing, and shelter from the storm. However, none of these necessities led me to feel truly safe. We had everything that we needed. However, I found myself far from home, at a new school surrounded by unfamiliar faces, and missing my normal childhood that had been left behind in New Orleans.

I felt this way until I received a backpack, filled with children’s toys and activities, which brought me a sense of security by allowing me to be a normal child again.

I started HartPacks inspired by this donated backpack, hoping to “Share the Hart of Giving” with children affected by life-altering events. My volunteer work in hospitals across the U.S. inspired me to focus HartPacks on children suffering from life-threatening diseases. My hope for HartPacks is to provide children with joy and play, even in the most difficult situations, to allow them to feel the sense of security that I felt when I received my backpack in 2005.

Olivia Hart

Founder, HARTPACKS, A charitable fund to share the heart of giving.

We created HARTPACKS backpacks with a simple mission to share the heart of giving.

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