Posted on May 09 2023
We are excited to be featuring Maya Crauderueff, Founder and Executive Director of Maya's Hope. Maya is an inspiring mother and an inspiring business owner. Her organization is changing children's lives and we are excited to be sharing it with our community.
Maya: First and foremost, I am a mom and defender of cutie pies. I have Filipino and Ukrainian roots, consider myself an international problem solver and enjoy making people smile. I also have a degree in Piano Performance and French literature from Rutgers University. I used to be a Glitter Queen, but since our world became predominantly digital, my team now calls me a GIF Queen. My colleague Ollie says I am the most empathetic person she knows.
ALLY Shoes: Can you share with us the inspiration behind starting Maya's Hope and how your personal journey led you to create this incredible organization?
Maya: A long time ago, I used to work as an Executive Assistant to the Managing Directors for Metalmark Capital. In 2008, I lost my mother. My grief brought me to the Philippines, where I visited orphanages and found many children living in deplorable conditions. So after I returned to New York City, I decided to help those children and started collecting goods to ship to the orphanages I visited. As this project grew, my dear friend Michael Meltzer suggested I start a non-profit organization. In 2010, Maya's Hope became a registered 501(c)3 charity in New York City. And Michael Meltzer eventually became a Board Chair. Later I visited orphanages and institutions in Ukraine, and Maya’s Hope has come to evolve into what it is today. Maya's Hope currently focuses on children in both the Philippines and Ukraine who are living in extreme poverty, in institutions, or have special needs.
ALLY Shoes: Mother's Day is a celebration of love, care, and support. How do you see these values embodied in the work done by Maya's Hope?
Maya: At Maya's Hope, we believe that every child has value. We provide essential resources to children in need, which often equals offering support and sharing hope with their mothers. From hygiene supplies and medication to children with disabilities to ensuring children in the orphanage have warm blankets and food supplies, we do it all with love. We are making sure the children we serve receive the care and support they need to thrive. Maya's Hope is all about making a difference in the lives of children who would otherwise have very few opportunities.
ALLY Shoes: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your role as the founder of Maya's Hope, and how has it impacted your life as a mother or motherly figure?
Maya: The most rewarding part of my work is seeing the positive impact Maya's Hope has on the lives of children in need. I have always had a great appreciation for the importance of family. Yet, Maya's Hope expanded the concept of family for me. All team members, volunteers, and donors of Maya's Hope share their time and resources to give all children the same care and support that they would give their own kids. I also feel that as a mother, I have empathy for the moms in our program.
ALLY Shoes: Maya's Hope has been a long-time supporter of children in Ukraine. Your work is especially important now for families there during the current crisis. Can you tell us more about the fund's objectives and the ways in which it is providing essential assistance to those affected?
Maya: Maya's Hope has been providing support to children in Ukraine for many years now. In February 2022, we expanded our efforts to help families affected by the ongoing war in the country. We utilized existing partnerships with charities in Ukraine and developed new ones to provide medical care, food, hygiene kits, and other essential supplies to those in need, as well as support families who have been displaced. We started accepting direct applications for financial assistance from families in Ukraine. We built a strong team to process these applications and provide families of children with special needs financial assistance for sheltering in place, relocating, purchasing food supplies and medication, stocking up on firewood for winter, etc. Now we see a huge demand for medical care and rehabilitation therapies for children with disabilities, so we continue working to make this happen.
ALLY Shoes: How can we all support Maya's Hope this Mother's Day and beyond to help improve the lives of children in need around the world?
Maya: If you want to support Maya's Hope, there are many ways to get involved! You can make a donation, sponsor a child, volunteer, or spread the word about Maya's Hope work. Donations can be made through our website - mayashope.org. We always welcome volunteers to help with our fundraising activities, outreach programs, and other initiatives. Our team would be happy to answer any questions and inquiries that you can direct to email@example.com.
ALLY Shoes: Who is your ally?
Maya: Other than my family and friends who always and unconditionally believe in Maya's Hope and me? :) My ally is anyone who believes that every child has value. My ally is someone who values and protects this beautiful planet. My ally is someone who is committed to positive changes in this world. My ally is someone who is of service to his or her community, others, and the world. My ally is someone who believes that change starts with each and every one of us.