Each week on “On a Mission” we talk to community leaders who are out to make a positive impact in the area. Today, our host Wendy Norfleet talks to Belen Blanton Altuve from the Fundacion Estrellita de Belen.
The Fundacion Estrellita de Belen provides assistive care and resources to children with congenital heart defects in Venezuela.
To learn more, visit http://www.fundacionestrellitadbelen.org.
Short company description: Provide assistive care and resources to children with congenital heart defects in Venezuela .
What makes your company unique?: Born in Venezuela with a congenital heart defect myself, I have a unique perspective on the struggles that CHD parents and children have in my home country. I bring my experience and compassion and my strong will to save all of these children to meet my foundation’s goals.
How do you define success?: For me success is being able to use all of my skills and compassion to help those less fortunate than me.
Who in the industry inspires you and why?: I was inspired by being a member of the Adult Congenital Heart Association and getting to know all of the doctors and other survivors of congenital heart disease.
What is a tip for success that you would provide someone in your same industry?: Starting this nonprofit organization is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. But with a lot of hard work and perseverance I’ve built a large network of doctors, hospitals, patients and their parents to become successful.
What excites you most about your industry?: The smiles and the tears of the children who I help every day drive me to work harder and gives me the satisfaction not even a paycheck can provide.
What is the biggest challenge you think you or your organization is going to face in the upcoming year?: As a nonprofit can tell you money is everything. My challenge for the upcoming year is to get sponsorship and donors to help each and everyone of my children.
Who is a Trustee in our community that you admire and why?: Several years ago I met a doctor here in Jacksonville who is also from Venezuela but cares for children with Congenital Heart Defects. He started a nonprofit organization to bring children from Third World countries to Jacksonville to get there life-saving surgeries. This inspired me help the kids from my home country.