LESSON IN GIVING: The Petra Nemcova-supported disaster relief nonprofit All Hands and Hearts — Smart Response has received a $400,000 donation from Tumi to help with its efforts helping Hurricane Harvey victims.
The funds will be used to help rebuild The Rhodes School, a public charter school with five campuses across the northern and eastern areas of Houston. Last year’s hurricane and subsequent flooding caused about $125 billion in damage in the Houston metropolitan area. All Hands and Hearts plans to rebuild the main building on The Rhodes School’s Robert E. Lee campus, and it will also gut, sanitize and rebuild the five remaining mobile units of the campus. Before the hurricane struck, 550 students were enrolled at the campus. Afterward, 450 students were displaced to other campuses and 100 students opted not to return.
After surviving the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, Nemcova started her own nonprofit, the Happy Hearts Fund. In November, the model-philanthropist decided to merge that organization with All Hands Volunteers in order to form All Hands and Hearts — Smart Response. Combined they are dedicated to address the immediate and long-term needs of communities trying to regroup after natural disasters.
Nemcova and Tumi have joined forces in the past. After Naeem Khan’s runway show Tuesday, she spoke of their bond. “With Tumi, first I was a global ambassador for them,” Nemcova said, “but they have a very philanthropic heart. They want to help rebuild schools. Last September was the second year that there was a fund-raiser called Back-to-School.”
Rob Cooper, president of Tumi North America, said, “At Tumi, we trust the All Hands and Hearts experience in rebuilding and restoring schools from natural disasters. We fully support them in their mission to get learners back to school so they can fulfill their potential in a safe environment. With the Rhodes School, we have a unique opportunity to support children and a community close to home in Houston. We are privileged to work with an organization whose impact reaches all over world,
In 2016, Tumi also held a similar event and raised nearly $286,000, which was earmarked for both the rebuilding of the Shree Mahendra Higher Secondary School and as a partial contribution for the rebuilding of the Shree Mahendra School, both in Nuwakot, Nepal. Over the years, Tumi has teamed with such other charitable organizations as St. Jude, Waves 4 Water, Doctors Without Borders and Future Forest.