From the Heart...

Announcing Haiti

We are bringing our Hands to the Hearts of Haiti! We have dreamed about working in Haiti for years. There were long talks, ideas and dreams of how we could go, and how HHI could serve there. The need there is so compelling and the opportunities to serve so numerous. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere: 80% of its population lives under the poverty line and an estimated 15% of the child population is orphaned.


And now the time has come - we have the right partners, the right opportunity and it is the right time. The Alliance for Children Foundation has invited HHI to collaborate on their efforts to serve women and children in the mountain village of Kenscoff, two hours outside of Port-au-Prince. It is here that the Foundation has a Community Center which offers medical services to more than 600 vulnerable children and their families; provides vocational training and an empowerment center for women; and has an Infant’s Home to serves orphans, specifically those from birth to age three, and with special needs.

HHI is excited to partner with the Foundation. We are adapting HHI’s training materials to support the caregiver’s in the Infant’s Home, as well as the 100′s of community parents who want to provide the very best for their children. In May, HHI’s team will join the Foundation in Haiti, to conduct HHI’s early childhood development trainings for caregivers in the Infant’s Home, as well as train a group of local trainers to lead HHI’s training for parents in the community for years to come.

HHI is going to TEDxMtHood

On May 2, 2015, I will be giving the talk of my life at TEDxMtHood, in Portland, OR . My talk is, “LOVE, a low tech solution” and it will be about my favorite topic – Hands to Hearts International and our work to awaken love, kindle compassion and save lives.


With wild enthusiasm and glee, I invite you to join me for this incredible day! You will not only get to hear me give a talk of my life time, but you get to hear a day chock-full of incredible speakers at the amazing new venue, Revolution Hall. And you don’t just get to listen to them, you get full access to them. During breaks throughout the day, you can ask them questions, disagree with them to their face or just enjoy their company over a yummy lunch.

The $70 ticket includes extraordinary inspiration, new friendships, free swag and a delicious lunch! Learn more and get your tickets today! This event sells out every year, so really - get those tickets now! Hoping to seeing you there. And, if you aren’t able to join in, my talk will be posted online a few weeks after the event. I’ll be sure to share the link!

Thank you!


Laura, HHI founder & director – see bio on TEDxMtHood

Portland Radio Project Features HHI

Recently the Portland Radio Project came to an HHI event and recorded interviews from array of different perspectives on HHI’s work and impact in the world. Check out the five mini episodes and share your thoughts.


   #1 – Laura Peterson (founder) and David Pyle (Board)

   #2 – Kate English (volunteer) maternal/child health expert

   #3 – John Anner, CEO Thrive Networks

   #4 – George & Erica, adoptive parents from HHI orphanage

   #5 – Sikha, adopted

     Listen to any or all here

10 Years & 200,000 Lives Touched!

HHI was founded 10 years ago. My vision was to create a program that would, “reach the most little people, at the highest risk [for Attachment Disorder], at the earliest time, with the most simple and replicable form of prevention possible.” HHI grew into this and exceeded everything I knew to be possible. We are celebrating the 200,000 moms/dads and babies that HHI has reached - with knowledge and love. The difference this has made has been as dramatic as saving children’s lives, and as simple (and powerful) as mothers being more loving/nurturing and families breaking the cycle of domestic violence. (click image to see full size)

10 yrs of HHI

I am deeply grateful to everyone who has given of their time, talents and treasures to grow HHI into the beautiful success it has become. In particular, there are 100 people that over the years have made incredible contributions, a wide variety of ways, and they have made HHI possible.     ​(click image to see full size)

1-Hands to Heart Charity Poster 24 x 36.4k


Announcing Merger with Thrive Networks!

On June 30th, 2014, with only hours left on HHI’s life clock….  (read Part 1)

John Anner, CEO of Thrive Networks, along with two of his colleagues, called to talk about the potential of HHI merging with their organization. John had heard about HHI’s situation via One Heart World-wide and he saw the win-win-win potential of HHI joining Thrive’s family of programs. He recognized the huge value of HHI’s program as a service that they didn’t have, saw how was a fit with their mission and their projects. And, he saw how in merging, HHI could get a wealth of support from Thrive and their team.

This led to meetings with the Board, John visiting us in Portland, me visiting Thrive in Oakland. We all asked lots of questions, gave real, authentic answers and dug deep. When I told John that I wasn’t interested in “incremental growth for HHI,” but only in a “quantum leap,” we penciled out what a likely first joint project would be. Using Thrive’s existing network of community trainers around India who train women and adolescent girls in micro-finance and family planning, HHI could easily be added in and thereby reach as many women every year as HHI has been able to reach in 10 years. Sold!

On HHI’s 10th anniversary, I am proud and elated to announce, that HHI is now a part of Thrive Networks! This merger offers HHI the potential for a true quantum leap! We are in the midst of all the details and paperwork that this involves, but it is all moving forward with the full and enthusiastic support of HHI’s Board.


This is a big leap! And we still need your help and support to ensure that HHI’s transition into Thrive Networks is successful. Together our organizations have incredible new projects and funding opportunities, but these will take some time to manifest. Your support now will help create the runway we need to reconfigure and re-launch HHI into new, far larger projects, with the potential to reach to times the number of moms/dads and babies! Support HHI now* and your gift will be DOUBLED by the Greenbaum Foundation. (*until 12/31/14, up to $50,000)

I want to say a true, deep and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has given of their time, talents and treasures to grow HHI into the beautiful success it has become. Be proud! You have been a part of a grand and deeply meaningful social experiment, starting and propelling forward education, love, knowledge, and actions that have touched more than 42,000 moms/dads and caregivers, and 150,000+ young children! The outcomes have been beyond anything we could have predicted, from lowered mortality, improved health, early and greater language and cognitive development, and more. And caregivers report outcomes including greater love and bonding between them and their baby, ceasing corporal punishment and even stopping domestic violence in their homes.

It has been a challenge, but more than that, this adventure called HHI has been the best thing I’ve ever done and I am so excited that I get to keep doing it, that HHI will not only live – but Thrive! My hope is that you will continue to support HHI, to continue on as friends and donors.