Alexander Conti - Board Chairman Of World Wide Children’s Foundation

The ultimate gift is the gift of life and the World Wide Children’s Foundation of NY definitely holds the torch.  The Worldwide Children’s Foundation of New York (WWCF) was granted its foundation status in 2002 and has been growing leaps and bounds since. The WWCF is committed to providing medical care and life-saving or life-altering surgery for disadvantaged children throughout the world. Alexander Conti, who is the Board Chairman of the Foundation, exemplifies altruism at its best. The foundation’s slogan “Save a Life One Child at a Time” illustrates how the foundation gives back to the world and desperately ill children with no other means. The interview day came and as I entered the suite of Alexander located on Park Avenue in New York City his assistant directed me into him office. From meeting Alexander and being in his presence for only a short time, I felt his generosity and needing to help along with his warm demor.

Chairman of the Board Alexander Conti

DR
What motivated and inspired you to start a children’s foundation?
 
AC
I have always believed that children are the world’s future, or our most valuable asset. I wanted to make a difference in this world by saving lives. I believe this was my destiny. That was all the motivation I needed.
 
DR
What does the foundation stand for?   Tell me about the processes that occur once a child enters into the foundation’s care?
 
AC
The Foundation is called The Worldwide Children’s Foundation of New York.
Our mission is to provide life-saving or life- altering surgery to children in need in the United States and throughout the world.    
 
DR
What are your goals and do you feel confident that you will achieve them?
 
AC
The Foundation seeks the medical records of children in need, then has the Medical Advisory Committee review each case. Once an applicant has been approved by the Executive Board, we arrange for air fare for the child, and /or parents or guardian.   We then have the family housed here in the U.S., while the child is operated on at one of the hospitals working with the WWCF of NY. When the child is cleared by the physicians, they return to their home.

DR
After you decided to start the foundation, what were your next steps?

AC
My goals for the WWCF of   NY is to continue to do more children each year (approx. 3 – 4).   I feel extremely confident we are achieving them. We needed to get our 501 ( c) 3 status,  then proceed to develop officers, bylaws, a board of directors and our mission statement. The next step was beginning fundraising and working with the doctors on our board. Next, we needed to establish relationships with the hospitals to do the operations.
 
DR
Have you been able to portray your cause on a global scale?

Chairman of the Board Alexander Conti, President of the Board James Cavello, Board Member Margarite Almeida, and Executive Director Carolyn Spector greet Sharif and Savilla at the airport

AC
I believe we are working on expanding our marketing on a global scale through our board members and by forming alliances with other organizations across the globe.
 
DR
Throughout the life of the Foundation, what has been the most difficult part?

AC
The most difficult part has been maintaining and upgrading continually the wonderful board of directors we have and keeping our fundraising goals high, just like any other not-for-profit.
 
DR
Was there ever a moment when you couldn’t take the pressure and wanted to walk away?

AC
It has certainly been a long hard road to get to this point (6 yrs. later), but worth every bit of it. The WWCF of NY  is the most important accomplishment to date in my life, and my officers, Executive Director and board members are like my family, I love them all.
 
DR
Looking back on everything you have been through, is there anything you would have done differently?
 
AC
I think when you start from scratch there is always something you could have done better, I only wish we could go bigger   and better much faster, but isn’t that What we all want in life. Except, this is a charitable organization and who wouldn’t want it to succeed.

Chairman of the Board Alexander Conti, President of the Board James Cavello


 
DR  
What is the most rewarding part of your day?

AC
The most rewarding part of my day as a co-founder and current chairman of the WWCF of NY knows that I made a difference in the world. The WWCF of NY with Gods help will be a legacy that   will be around when I am gone. Each child that we save will be proof of that forever, what more could a person ask for in life?  I am truly blessed.
 
DR
What goes through your mind when you get the kids?

AC
I want to see them healthy and happy. I want them to have the same chance and life we all seek.   I feel like they all are kind of like my children, or little brothers and sisters.   They are all so special.
 
DR
Has there been a child that you were unable to help for one reason or another?


AC
These are cases that we review that we cannot do for one reason or another, but generally we are doing heart operations, plastic surgery and orthopedic operations.
 
DR
Do you find yourself becoming emotionally attached to these kids while in the Foundation’s care?
 
AC
Yes, I do. When I and my fellow members meet them at the airport, and see the child at the hospital before they go into surgery, then in the post-operation room. It is always very emotional watching the parents see their child wheeled down the hallway into the operating room. It is as near and dear to the human cause as I have experienced. None of us can keep from crying. It makes one appreciate what we are doing and why we need to continue doing it.


DR
What do you fear most for these kids?
 
AC
I fear that we cannot make them better. I feel for the parents who sometimes have sacrificed everything to get their child here, and in the end its in the hands of the surgeons and God. In my opinion God – the power of good wins however, and I have no more fear.  
 
DR
How has this Foundation changed your life?

AC
The Foundation has made my life more complete. Life is not just about going to work and making   money and obtaining as many material goods as possible. It’s about giving back in some way, shape or form.   My whole life has always been based on 4 words.   Respect, Honor, Compassion and Passion. I believe I am living those four words with the WWCF of NY and am a better man for that. I consider myself the luckiest person on the planet to have had this opportunity.
 
DR
Do you have kids of your own?

AC
No, but some day I will.
 
DR
Do you plan to start a family of your own?

AC
Yes, when the right person and circumstances come my way, then I will know it is right.
 

 

Chairman of the Board Alexander Conti, escorting patient Liridona from the hospital


DR
Would you consider adopting any of the kids that you help if they had no family to care for them?
 
AC
Yes, I would. No child should be without someone to love them and care for them.
 
DR
If someone wanted to help and support your Foundation, how would they go about it?

AC
They can go onto our website www.wwcf.org and donate directly or call us at 1-800-293-0370 and volunteer to help us with fundraising or in whatever way they can help.   If you sponsor a child for 5 – 10k you can be involved in the entire process I mentioned earlier, but remember, you will fall in love with these children and your life will change as it has for all of us.
 
DR
What does the future entail for the Foundation?

AC
The future will entail seeing the WWCF of NY grow into one of the most successful not for profits in its category for children’s operations. We will be doing more operations for children, and anyone who joins us will find it to be as it has been for me, “The single most important accomplishment of my life.”
 
DR
What would you like readers to know most about your efforts?

AC
I think the readers should know that my and the WWCF of NY efforts will always be to strive for excellence. We will continue our mission statement, and will be around for a very long time.
 
DR
You have definitely created something special and much needed in this country, what advice would you give someone wanting to start a foundation of their own?
 
AC
My advice would be to assemble a group of people who are dedicated to making a difference. People who want to help and seek nothing in return. People like my board, officers and Executive Director, who are in a class of their own. Quite simply put,   People helping People! God Bless You All.

Chairman of the Board Alexander Conti

Alexander is a true philanthropist who also dedicates his time and energy to many New York City based foundations and projects. Just this month, Alexander was presented with “ Most Exceptional Volunteer” for the 2008 Northwestern Mutual Community Service Award along with a check for $25,000 presented to the WWCF. This alone ensures people to see how much work and dedication he brings to the foundation. As we continue to speak, I can see how much joy giving back to the community and the world bring him.  Alexander takes pride in giving life a second chance to children who need it. With this said, Alexander and the WWCF have inspired my partner, Carlene Junjulas and our company, HOUSE of DCD, Inc to design fashionable t-shirts for the foundation where part of the proceeds go directly to the foundation.

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