The name Blue Heron, which in Native American symbolism stands for “inner reflection and active manifestation of one’s spiritual path,” mirrors the founder’s journey at a time when she decided to give back to disadvantaged children in Romania.
Mission & Approch
Blue Heron Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable organization operating in the US, Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
A key principle is that 100% of every donation goes exclusively to the beneficiaries of our program; the founders cover all administrative costs.
Blue Heron Foundation was born out of the conviction that we need to do everything in our power to uplift those fellow human beings unable to fend for themselves. We remain committed to helping abandoned or vulnerable youth reach their academic potential and also ensure that individuals displaced by war or trapped in outdated medical systems receive modern treatment.
To comprehensively address the intellectual, social and emotional well-being of our students so that they may become self-actualized, self-sufficient, productive adults.
To provide our students with greater opportunities through college scholarships, a one-on-one mentorship program, specialized educational courses, volunteer opportunities and yearly summer camps.
To help vulnerable individuals in dire medical need – displaced refugees, patients trapped in outdated medical systems or the terminally ill – receive life-saving care.
To collaborate with medical institutions and government agencies in Romania and the Republic of Moldova in order to modernize their medical care giving systems, including cancer treatments and palliative care.
To create new programs in Radiology and Oncology for residents and current doctors in the Republic of Moldova.
To expand our scholarship program to the poorest regions of Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
To increase our footprint in the medical fields of Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
To create a model so our alumni pay it forward by becoming benefactors to the next generation of Blue Heron students.
To collaborate with individuals and grassroots organizations in the US with the intention of combating isolation and increase.
To use Art as a tool to bring US communities together.
History & Accomplishments
Stefania Magidson established Blue Heron Foundation in 2002 having been greatly affected by the abject condition of babies and children abandoned in orphanages throughout her native Romania.
Since 2002 Blue Heron has:
- Raised and invested over $3.5 Million to improve the lives of more than 3,000 Romanian children.
- Awarded college scholarships to 500+ vulnerable youth in Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
- Built a community of over 1,000 Romanian and American donors.
- Created a mentorship program with over 250 mentors from 6 countries.
- Attracted over 500 volunteers.
We are active in 25+ counties in Romania and, since 2015, in 13 regions in the Republic of Moldova.
In keeping with our philosophy of minimizing extraneous expenses, our primary fundraising instrument in the US is a “Giving Circle” in which members pledge an annual minimum of $600. We meet yearly during an informal “Salon” – one in Los Angeles and one in New York – to present Blue Heron’s activities and impart updates from our scholarship recipients.
In accordance with our goal of increasing the cultural profile of charitable giving in Romania, since 2006 we have organized several galas. Our annual fundraiser, the Valentine’s Day Charity Ball, became a tradition among Bucharest’s charity events. The balls culminated with the presentation of the Forget-Me-Not Humanitarian Award, which to date has been given to six notable Romanians who have shown exemplary dedication to bettering the lives of the country’s underprivileged children.