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Events

Hopeland Partners with Paramount Pictures

Hopeland is excited to announce that it has been working with Paramount Pictures to promote awareness of issues related to foster care, adoption, and reunification in the USA following the release of their new movie, Instant Family.

The movie is directed by Sean Anders and stars Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne and was inspired by the true story of Sean and his wife Beth’s journey of adopting three children and the trials and joys that came with it.

In conjunction with Paramount Pictures, Adoption Share, and MDC Productions, Hopeland hosted a screening of the movie in NYC followed by a Q&A with Sean and Beth Anders, Hopeland’s Co-Founders Deborra-lee Furness and Nick Evans, and Adoption Share’s Thea Ramirez.

Left to Right: Hopeland’s Co-Founders Nick Evans & Deborra-lee Furness; Sean & Beth Anders; and Adoption Share’s Founder Thea Ramirez

As well as being a hilarious comedy the movie tackles difficult issues such as the trauma children experience as they move from foster home to foster home, the damaging effects that substance misuse has on families, the fear and rejection that children experience, and the difficult decisions courts have to make as they decide outcomes for children.

After the screening, Nick Evans said, “The movie powerfully tackles the subjects of foster care, reunification, adoption, parenthood, and what it means to be a family. I have not laughed and cried so much in a while!”

If you want to learn more about the making of the movie you can watch a featurette about Instant Family here:

Hopeland’s Annual Gala Raises Awareness

Hopeland’s 2018 Gala was a beautiful, and powerful, event bringing together some of NYC’s biggest hitters to hear how Hopeland is finding better ways to keep children in families while enjoying performances from Ari Afsar and Keala Settle.

The room was packed in spite of one of the earliest snowstorms in New York City’s history that brought six inches of snow and many downed trees.

Dr Bertice Berry speaking passionately about Hopeland’s mission

The crowd heard from Dr Bertice Berry, the host for the evening, who’s powerful story of how she adopted her sister’s children to prevent them from ending up in the foster care system moved us all. This was of course not an easy task for her but she told the gala, “We have the power to make a difference in a child’s life – that’s why we’re here tonight.”

Ari Afsar

The first musical performance of the evening was from the up and coming artist Ari Afsar who is best known for playing Eliza Schuyler in the hit musical Hamilton. She performed ‘Dear Theodosia’ which was particularly apt for the evening as it is a song in which Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr speak to their children about their hopes for the future. The lyrics “If we lay a strong enough foundation, We’ll pass it on to you, We’ll give the world to you, And you’ll blow us all away”, speak perfectly to how children, with the support of a safe, loving family will thrive and do incredible things. This is exactly why Hopeland works to ensure every child has the support they need.

“Just because you didn’t cause the problem, doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the solution.” Hopeland’s CEO and Co-Founder, Nick Evans, used this call to action to rally those in the room to support our cause – based on donations on the night the call was heeded. Nick ran through Hopeland’s achievements in 2018 – read more here – and it is already looking like a great 2019 for Hopeland thanks to our many generous family members.

Keala Settle

“Hopeland is about making sure every kid has someone that is fighting for them” were the words of Hugh Jackman as he introduced the star of the evening, The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle. Keala spoke about what Hopeland means to her and then sang Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’ and of course ‘This Is Me’ – the inspirational hit of 2018.

Keala’s incredible voice got the whole room on their feet and sent Hopeland’s supporters home with Dr. Berry’s mantra in their ears: “when you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny”. We all came together with the purpose of keeping children in families and thanks to our collision at the gala we have a stronger Hopeland family for 2019.

Deborra-lee Furness: Disruptor

What happens when you’re unafraid and willing to lift the voices of vulnerable children around the world?

Well, add some passion, charm, and a genuine desire to ensure that children have safe loving families, as well as a few secret ingredients and you have our Co-Founder: Deborra-lee Furness, who was honored earlier this week at the 2018 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards.

 

The ‘Disruptor Awards’ honor those who are unafraid to go against the grain to fight for the causes they believe in.  This year’s honorees included 11-year old March for Our Lives activist, Naomi Wadler, influential music journalist and late night TV drummer, Questlove renowned HBO Documentary film director and female activist, Sheila Nevins and our very own Deborra-lee.

“There are 157 million orphans in the world and of these numbers 80% have at least one living parent. We’re going to the root of the cause and getting creative with solutions that will derail negative trajectories.” she said as she walked to the stage to accept her award – a bright red hammer, meant to symbolize the unabashed confidence each of the disruptors exhibit when standing for their causes.

“We are working on prevention, reunification, and mobilization because we believe every single child deserves to belong in a loving family and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.” she continued.

You can also watch this video of Deborra-lee on the red carpet after accepting her award. She jokes: “I used to be disruptive as a child, I got detention, and now they’re giving awards for it!”, but we all know that she really deserves this award and are so proud of her and her amazing work!

You can find more about the Disruptor Awards here.