In January, 2010, Christine Gianacaci of Hopewell Township and several of her classmates from Lynn University traveled to Haiti on a mission of hope: to help children and to feed the poor. When a massive earthquake struck on January 12, the Hotel Montana in Port-Au-Prince collapsed and Christine, at 22 years old, along with three other students and two professors, were killed.

The Christine’s Hope for Kids Foundation is a Mercer County non-profit created to honor the legacy and generous spirit of Christine Gianacaci and continue her mission to help underprivileged children have an opportunity for a better life. We believe that every child should have the chance to just be a kid, no matter what his or her economic or social challenge may be. Christine’s Hope for Kids helps give them that chance.

The revenue we raise allows us to contribute to organizations that work directly with children to benefit their lives in positive ways. We focus on local organizations because the need here in Mercer County is so great. It is important to see where our donations are going and how they are helping kids learn, grow, and flourish. Since its inception nearly five years ago, Christine’s Hope for Kids has made close to $500,000 in donations to more than 100 individual organizations, many of them Mercer County-based, helping tens of thousands of children.

In our Foundation, we like to say, “A child’s face goes with every dollar.” Whether sending kids to summer camp or swim lessons at one of our Mercer County-area YMCAs, introducing the world of art through Kidsbridge Art Camp, providing uniforms and equipment for sports teams, or giving the gift of reading to children who can’t afford a single book, we take great pride in knowing that we have directly helped hundreds of thousands of kids in just four-and-a-half years.

Christine’s Hope also organizes its own smaller projects, like pajama and goodie bags and Christmas stockings, for local groups such as the Children’s Home Society, Millhill Child Development Center, Woman­Space, and Homefront. Through these projects, student volunteers experience the joy and satisfaction of helping other kids. Christine’s Hope for Kids truly understands it is the seemingly little things that make the biggest impact in the life of a child.

There are plenty of ways to donate. While every penny is hugely appreciated, we are also honored to receive donations of time, effort, and skills. If you’d like to follow Christine’s example of helping those in need, please contact us at Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter and see how kindness grows with Christine’s Hope for Kids.

What Christine started we promise to continue.

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