World of Children, a global recognition and funding organization for individuals exclusively serving the needs of vulnerable children, held the 2017 World of Children Hero Awards at Montage Beverly Hills raising more than $350,000 for vulnerable children. Funds raised at the event will benefit the World of Children honorees to continue their work with children. Hosted by Brooke Burke-Charvet, the evening recognized four extraordinary individuals for their work with children in various parts of the world. Other celebs in attendance included Amanda Seyfried, Alyssa Milano, and Rachel Roy.
World of Children, celebrating its 20th year, announced that internationally renowned model and child advocate, Lily Aldridge Followill, was named World of Children ambassador. Through her ambassadorship, she will share stories and inspire support for World of Children as she travels the globe. This volunteer position aligns with Lily’s philosophy of lending her heartfelt voice and actions to positively impact the lives of vulnerable children.
During the awards program, Lily presented World of Children’s inaugural Crisis Award to Arwa Damon, co-founder of INARA. Damon was awarded for providing life-altering medical care for children with catastrophic injuries in Syria and other war-torn areas. Joining Lily to present the Award was Yousef, a young burn victim from Iraq who inspired Arwa to form INARA after she covered his story on CNN. Yousef gave a moving speech and shared that without Arwa’s help, he wouldn’t be here today. Damon’s award includes funding raised in collaboration with U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Rachel Roy’s birthday campaign, which also helped fund the Crisis Award to help the children of Syria.
Other honorees included Meghan Pasricha, who harnesses the power of youth to change the world through her organization, Global Youth H.E.L.P., Dr. Jorge Rojas-Zegers, who provides holistic treatment for young burn victims in South America through his organization, COANIQUEM, and Dr. Jumana Odeh, who provides treatment for children with special needs in Palestine through her organization, Palestinian Happy Child Centre. Each honoree received a specially designed James Banks Design medal and a cash grant to continue their outstanding work with children.
World of Children is led by Harry Leibowitz and Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz, retired senior executives from Procter & Gamble, and Victoria’s Secret, respectively. Since founding the organization in 1998, Harry and Kay have set out to achieve the goal of setting the gold standard in child advocacy award programs. World of Children has granted more than $9 million in cash grants and program support to more than 100 honorees who are the driving force behind programs that have served tens of millions of children worldwide.
Photo Credit: Randy Shropshire /Getty Images for World of Children