Celebzter Supports: Hollywood HEART

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The name of the organization says it all: Hollywood HEART is proving that Tinseltown cares.

In case you haven’t heard about Hollywood HEART, it is a nonprofit organization that opens doors for teens and young adults affected by HIV/AIDS and other at-risk youth through its innovative arts programs and annual summer camp.

On Monday November 5, the organization teamed up with Lexington Social House to present a culinary arts workshop, which sought to teach young adults impacted by HIV/AIDS, many of which are immune compromised, more about a plant-based diet and how to lead a healthier lifestyle. The workshop was headed by Katherine Nillbrink, an expert in plant-based nutrition.

This is just one of the wonderful things the organization continues to do.

We spoke to some of the representatives of the organization that helped shed even more light on their great cause.

Celebzter: How many people has Hollywood heart helped to date?

Hollywood HEART: To date, Hollywood HEART (HH) has provided innovative arts programming to over 2,000 youth from Los Angeles, as well as around the United States and South Africa.

Celebzter:  Is there a more increased need for their services now given the economy?

Hollywood HEART: Most, if not all, of our participants come from low income family households and our services are 100% free of cost. Due to cuts in school funding, arts programs in schools are becoming nonexistent. We believe that without an outlet for expression, our participants would be at a much higher risk of dropping out of school, joining gangs, spreading STD’s, doing drugs, or being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Celebzter: What is there still to achieve that hasn’t already?

Hollywood HEART: HH hopes to continue to expand the number of youth the organization serves as long as there is a need. Camp Hollywood HEART is one of the only programs that includes both adolescents who have contracted HIV/AIDS and/or have an infected family member. Many campers have lost parents to the AIDS epidemic and approximately half are living with someone other than a biological parent. While medical advances have allowed our youth infected with HIV/AIDS to live longer, the stigmas and challenges they face are still daunting. Finding job opportunities and creative outlets are new obstacles they encounter on a daily basis. These factors, combined with the fact that our population still has to battle a devastating disease, raises the chance of poor outcomes and long-term deficits for the youth HH serves. That is why HH is working harder than ever to give these young people opportunities that instill success. Our arts programs not only allow for our participants to express themselves in ways they never imagined, but they are also educated on how they can turn their talents into careers. With a clear dedication to sharing the spirit of camp and a love for the arts, HH is changing the world, one smiling face at a time.

Celebzter: How can we all help?

Hollywood HEART: HH is still planning and still growing. The continued success of HH relies on a committed group of volunteers and board members to raise funds, support camp activities and events, and seek innovative ways to further enhance the lives of the youth we serve.

Supporting Hollywood HEART is really easy, fun, and very rewarding:

- Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hollywoodheart

-Follow us on Twitter: @Hollywdheart

-Donate through our website: www.hollywoodheart.org

We are also looking for arts professionals from all different fields to volunteer their time and talents for the youth we serve. An area of need in which people can also make an impact is to get publicity and recognition for the accomplishments of our programs and for the participants. Please email info@hollywoodheart.org for more information or if you have any questions. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Melissa Myers has worked as an entertainment journalist for ten years, both in London and New York. She has done a daily gossip column on British newspaper the Daily Star where she interviewed everyone from Tom Cruise and George Clooney to Simon Cowell and Jennifer Lopez. She also worked as the News Director of In Touch in New York for the past six years, before launching her own site www.celebzter.com, which aims to provide smart content for smart women.
Melissa Myers has worked as an entertainment journalist for ten years, both in London and New York. She has done a daily gossip column on British newspaper the Daily Star where she interviewed everyone from Tom Cruise and George Clooney to Simon Cowell and Jennifer Lopez. She also worked as the News Director of In Touch in New York for the past six years, before launching her own site www.celebzter.com, which aims to provide smart content for smart women.
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