The Daily Grind Video

I remember the moment my dear friend Petra Nemcova became famous – it was from the emotional photo that went viral of her clinging to a tree after watching her boyfriend get swept away by the tsunami in Thailand back in 2004.

After that, things were never the same for Petra. I remember her coming back after the tragedy and committing herself to helping others who have been affected by natural disasters.

I watched her raise funds to build an orphanage in Sri Lanka and once she started The Happy Hearts Fund, I joined the board and have watched it grow ever since.

Since starting her foundation, The Happy Hearts Fund, she’s built over 100 schools, 60 in Haiti alone, and continued her passion and dedication to serving any country where a natural disaster has taken place. 

I’ve watched the whole thing from its inception and it’s mind boggling to see how much she’s accomplished.

I couldn’t be more proud of her.

~Russell Simmons

Above, Russell and Hana Nitsche attend the 3rd annual Happy Hearts Fund Gala in New York City.