We want to take this opportunity to showcase key people who have been essential in the development of Harboring Hearts. Without the help of our amazing board members, volunteers and interns, we would not be where we are today.
Adam Foldes is a long-time friend of Michelle Javian and when he began volunteering for Harboring Hearts you could tell that he was there not only to support his friend, but also because he was passionate and driven by our mission.
Adam has volunteered for us in numerous capacities and he played a significant role in our Winter Cocktail event at the Rubin Museum of Art last February 2011. He helped us devise the overall concept of the event, headed sub-committee groups and even contributed his writing skills to draft sponsorship letters.
Thank you Adam for your support and for dedicating your time to Harboring Hearts! Read below to learn more about Adam.
Current Occupation: Creator/Author of Ava’s Adventures in the World (www.avasadventures.com)
How and why did you get involved with Harboring Hearts?: Michelle Javian and I have been friends since our first years at Georgetown University. Though following very different paths, we always remained close before, during, and after Harboring Hearts came into being–and shared the hurdles and blessings that filled those years mentioned. I admired her willpower, vision, and dedication to the cause and families Harboring Hearts helped, and when I finally moved back to New York City in October 2010, it seemed a natural place to lend a hand in the capacities that I could. From there, it was easy to see that the people with whom Michelle had collaborated–Yuki Kotani, interns and general Harboring Hearts’ supporters–were an inspiring and motivating group of people to know and work with.
How do you balance your career and giving back so successfully?: Balance? The difficult part of answering this question, is that sometimes I do not feel I achieve the balance that Harboring Hearts needs and deserves this year and always. I am always wishing I had 65 hour days; more time, and more time to offer. For the past several months, I have been developing Ava’s Adventures while concurrently working for another company as well–long days. At points, though, one must check back in and assess what is most important. Harboring Hearts is definitely a cause to which I will always be committed, despite how the tides of life may demand that I am further from that shoreline than I’d like to be. Even if it is just an hour a week, or 25 hours, it helps to be there–in a lot of ways. It is hard to believe that sometimes, and difficult to feel like you are really doing ‘enough’…but when Harboring Hearts, or other such organizations someone cares about, say they need help–they mean it. If 1,000 people gave 1 hour of help a week, it means the world to charities. Unfortunately, many of those 1,000 people (including me, at times) don’t know how true that is and allow feelings of guilt or inadequacy (of time availability) to skew the reality: Every hour counts, and makes a huge difference. When you remember that, an alarm goes off–and you find the hour, and balance just follows naturally after that.
Who or what have been your greatest inspirations in your life, your career, and your volunteer experience?: I think loss, solitude, reading, friends, and my family have been the greatest inspiration in my career choices–and even deferrals–in life. Each of these areas present both challenges, and awareness, of who we are as people. For me, they each have been central, critical elements that have inspired my stepping back from the reality I am a part of to ask myself: “how do I want to be a part of that reality? Where do I fit, and what is it that I can offer?” Sometimes the obvious answer is not the right answer, so it is tiring; but you have to follow your heart and trust that your own experience and self-understanding will always be the only thing that stays with you forever: always growing with each step. Only you know that path before, for certain, so make sure to incorporate that into your choices so the path ahead is one of growth and awareness of that world around you on either side of the Road.
What are your favorite memories about Harboring Hearts?: My favorite memories about Harboring Hearts are the community events at NY-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. They have been the few chances to see and hear the stories of families helped by Harboring Hearts, and also those families who are confronting the emotions, challenges, fears, and love they are feeling during their time of need.
- Favorite City – Paris and Athens
- Favorite Food – Heart healthy, gluten-free, whole wheat crust pizza
- Favorite Activity – Fitness
- Favorite Music – Classical
- Favorite Museum – Museo Botero (Bogota, Colombia) and the Tate Modern (London, UK)
- Favorite Travel Destination – Greece, because I feel relaxed and at home and do not feel like I am traveling…yet come back completely rejuvenated and spiritually calm every time.
- Favorite Book – Impossible to answer 🙂
- Favorite Movie – Too many