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Hearts of Gold was founded in 1996 by Deborah Koenigsberger, a former model and a fashion industry stylist who owns a successful women’s clothing boutique, Noir et Blanc… Bis, established in 1989 in Manhattan’s Chelsea district. Her caring nature was touched by the struggles of homeless women in her neighborhood, so in 1996 she founded Hearts of Gold, a not-for-profit organization that exists to improve the lives of New York City’s homeless mothers and their children. Hearts of Gold has raised more than $1.6 million in support of city shelters including Icahn House East, LLC; Nazareth Housing; and the former Alexander Abraham Residence. In 2008, Hearts of Gold adopted a new shelter, Semiperm HDFC. The organization has attracted the support of such luminaries as Emme Aronson, Bobbi Brown, Kirsten Dunst, Edie Falco, Marcia Gay Harden, Ivana, Hoda Kotb, Laura Linney, Soledad O’Brien, Susan Sarandon, Tamara Tunie, Vanessa L. Williams, and Stevie Wonder.


Hearts of Gold is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists to improve the lives of New York City’s homeless mothers and their children. The Mission of Hearts of Gold is to enhance the lives of New York City's homeless mothers and their children. Hearts of Gold’s goal is to prepare families to exit the shelter system and thrive on their own. Hearts of Gold is a small, tightly-run organization with big impact, effectively leveraging volunteers, donors and donations to provide critical services to the sheltered homeless.


While her women's clothing business in New York's Chelsea district was thriving, Deborah’s caring nature was touched by the struggles of the homeless in her neighborhood. Stevie Wonder’s song “Take the Time Out” motivated her as she searched for a responsible way for her business to give back to the community. Initially, inspired by her Jamaican grandmother “Motherlove,” Deborah volunteered at a local center for the elderly homeless. As her own life evolved, grateful for her own family and the opportunities available to her sons, she began to focus on the struggles of local homeless women and their children in her neighborhood.

Deborah founded Hearts of Gold in 1996 to ensure that when kids and their mothers wake up in the shelters, they have a brighter day ahead of them. Her vision is to create a successful model that can be replicated nationwide.


Hearts of Gold Programs: Hearts of Gold provides everything from diapers, winter coats, and summer camp tuition for the children; to mammograms, career counseling and landlord negotiations for the mothers. Hearts of Gold’s programs include:

“Let’s Celebrate” promotes family unity and socialization skills, bringing Hearts of Gold alumni, mothers and children together for monthly holiday, birthday and baby-shower events. The organization provides gift packages for each occasion including much-needed clothing, toiletries, and school supplies. Hearts of Gold’s “Coats & Clothing for Christmas” program enables our shelter families to select warm winter clothing.

“Homeward Bound” strengthens mothers and children’s resolve during their stay at the shelter, and as they move to permanent housing, offers practical as well as emotional support. Programs include a “Baby Shower In A Bag” filled with newborn necessities; “Move Out” packages for families leaving the shelter; the Alumni Support Group; financial and legal assistance; and physical improvements to the shelters.

“Empowerment = Achievement” enhances self-esteem and self-sufficiency by supporting the shelters' life skills and job training initiatives. Programs include homework help and summer camp programs for children, the Origins-sponsored “Pampering Extravaganza” for moms, clothing fairs, and fun day trips to local attractions for shelter and alumni families.

"Working It" rewards moms for caring for their children and themselves socially and academically, enhancing self-esteem and self-sufficiency. This program treats deserving mothers to a "Pampering Extravaganza" which rewards personal growth and positive parenting skills. HOG tops it off with a $100 gift certificate to ORIGINS beauty products. New and lightly - used clothing is dry cleaned and distributed at clothing fairs throughout the year to enhance families wardrobes and provide interview outfits for moms returning to the workforce.


Hearts of Gold:
• Has a network of more than 2,500 donors and volunteers
• Has raised more than $1.6 million
• Has helped nearly 10,000 families
• Currently supporting 280+ mothers and 475+ children at three Manhattan shelters:
o Icahn House East, LLC – A transitional living facility for mothers and their children ages 12 and younger
o Nazareth Housing – Transitional housing for mothers and their children, mostly young women with children under age 5
o Semiperm HDFC – A transitional housing community for single parents. (Hearts of Gold adopted Semiperm in 2008, replacing the Alexander Abraham Residence, which recently closed.)
• Currently supporting 20 “alumni” (those who have left our shelters for permanent housing) in the Alumni Support Group, a hands-on program to help them keep their lives on track, now its fourth year.


Deborah Koenigsberger worked extensively as a stylist in the fashion industry before founding Noir et Blanc...Bis, a women's clothing boutique in Manhattan featuring fashion-forward yet classic European collections. Since 1989, her focus has been on providing personal attention to New York City's most selective and demanding clients. Deborah and her boutique have appeared on NBC News and in The New York Times, The New York Post, Time Out New York, Glamour, WWD, Modern Style, The Amsterdam News, and Carib News.

In addition to being a successful businesswoman, Deborah has raised more than $1 million for New York City’s homeless mothers and children. Deb founded the non-profit organization Hearts of Gold in 1996 as a responsible way for her business to give back to the community. Hearts of Gold’s mission is to help the women and children at three city shelters by preparing them to exit the shelter system and thrive on their own. In the past 11 years, Hearts of Gold has helped thousands of homeless families by providing everything from diapers, winter coats, and summer camps for the children; to mammograms, career counseling and landlord negotiations for the mothers.

Deborah lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons.


Advisory Board
Beth Bowley
Bobbi Brown
The Honorable David N. Dinkins
Roberta Graves
Marcia Gay Harden
Mary Beth Harvey
Lawrence Konner
Dee Dee Ricks
Nicholas Schorsch
Shelley Schorsch
Vanessa L. Williams

Goodwill Ambassador
Soledad O'Brien

Board of Directors
Deborah Koenigsberger, Founder & Executive Director
Affiliations: Owner, Noir et Blanc...bis
Vice President, Fashion Outreach
Jack Gindi, President
Affiliations: Playwright
Vice Chair, Young Leadership of International Sephardic Education Foundation
Board Member, The Cherry Lane Theatre
Thilo Koenigsberger, Treasurer
Affiliations: Manager Controlling North & South America, Lufthansa
Valerie DiFebo, Secretary
Affiliations: President, Deutsch Inc.
Vice Chairman, Williams College Alumni Fund
Board Member, The Ad Club of New York
Susan Ginsberg O'Sullivan
Affiliations: Director of Marketing, Fire Island Golden Wagon Film Festival
Member, Women in Cable
Eric Steiner
Affiliations: Director of Technology, Berdon LLP
Judy Wada
Affiliations: Deputy Director of Finance and Administration,
The American Museum of the Moving Image

Executive Committee
Renee Wilder, Operating Officer
Cheryl Barrett
Jeffrey Brown
Faith Cohen
Cindy Finkelman
Beth Finkelstein
Stuart Finkelstein
Mary Beth Fisher
Lori Greenberg
Rachel Rogers
Jackie Roberts
Shelley Schorsch
Frederico Sifuentes


United States


New York


19 West 23rd Street, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10010-4295

Phone: (212) 206-1461

EIN: 13-4194879

Shower in a Bag

Newborn necessities

This gift will provide a new mother a baby bag filled with bibs, baby blankets, pacifiers, wash cloths, teething rings, and a teddy bear, among other miscellaneous necessities.


Day trips

Educational trips

This gift will provide funding to take children living in NYC shelters on fun and educational day trips.


Movie night for mom

One relaxing night off

This gift will provide a night out to the movies for moms living in a NYC shelter.


Homework Help

Homework incentives

This gift will provide a nutritious, balanced dinner for a family of four living in a NYC shelter. The dinner will serve as an incentive for the children to consistently attend after school homework help.


Emergency wardrobe

Clothes for DV survior

This gift will provide emergency wardrobes for children who have ended up in shelters on short notice as a result of domestic violence.


Back to school

Backpack with supplies

This gift will provide a new backpack filled with back to school supplies for one child living in a NYC shelter.


Arts & Crafts

Supplies for events

This gift will provide art & craft supplies for two children at HOG events and/or outings.


Summer Camp

Summer camp tuition

This gift will provide tuition for a child living in an NYC shelter to attend summer camp. Summer camp allows the children to garner important social, creative, and educational experiences. We apply for scholarships and pay the remaining tuition so the children may attend a camp of their choice.


Coats for Christmas

Buys child winter coat

This gift will provide a a warm coat, hat, scarf, and gloves for a child living in a New York City shelter.


Move Out Package

Sets up new homes

The Move Out Package will help provide furniture, linens and housewares to ensure that when families move out of the shelter and into their own place, their house feels like a home.


Milk Money

Emergency food needs

The Milk Money gift provides emergency funding to buy food and drinks for moms and children living in the shelter.


Make a Memory

Fund shelter events

Your donation would go directly to the purchase of games, toys, arts and crafts, bead sets, jewelry kits, and other activities for children living in a NYC shelter.