Founder and Director, Global Medical Relief Fund for Children
Outstanding Humanitarian and now Author
Listen to Elissa Montanti interview
Our very special guest is Elissa Montanti: Founder and Director, Global Medical Relief Fund for Children and who People Magazine dubbed "the saint of Staten Island"—is changing the world, one child at a time.
my dear friend Melissa Studdard, author of the award winning book "Six Weeks to Yehida" and host of the radio show Tifert Talk.
Fourteen years ago, Elissa Montanti was a lab technician in Staten Island. She had, in the span of only a few years, lost her beloved mother, grandmother, and high school sweetheart. Hoping to find a way past her own troubles and the depression and panic attacks that quietly crippled her, she decided to raise money for school supplies for the children of war-torn Bosnia. But at a meeting with the UN ambassador she learned that those children didn’t need pencils. He showed her a photo of a boy who had lost both arms and one leg to a land mine; these children needed a lot more.
She went to Bosnia, brought the boy and his mother back to Staten Island, and arranged for free prosthetic's and medical care. The Global Medical Relief Fund was born.
Elissa Montanti will also be joined by multi-published writer and Psychology Today columnist Jennifer Haupt. Jennifer worked in collaboration with Ms. Montanti in writing “I'll Stand by You” (to be released August 2, 2012) about Elissa’s personal experiences in aiding children who are missing or have lost the use of limbs or eyes, who have been severely burned, or have been injured through war, natural disaster or illness throughout the world.
Elissa founded the non-profit, non-partisan Global Medical Relief Fund. A 501c3 organization, GMRF is supported entirely by private donations and grants. Since 1997, GMRF has brought more than 150 children to the U.S, from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia for treatment, surgery and prosthetic limb and eye fittings. The countries include Bosnia, China, El Salvador, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, the Congo, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Libya .The injured children come from countries or regions that can offer only minimal medical care, poorly fitted prostheses, or none at all.
Elissa Montanti and her story of unconditional love and charity to grievously injured children throughout the world has been widely featured in every media outlet. She has also received numerous awards and honorariums for her outstanding humanitarian work.
Ms. Montanti has been featured in Parade Magazine, Reader’s Digest, People Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, and numerous other print media’s.
“60 minutes”, “Life Time Television for Women”, MSNBC, NBC “Today-New York”, CBS “Early Show”, Dr. Phil Show, (presented the first “Heart of a Woman Award “), Hallmark Family Channel, American Morning CNN, Aaron Brown, Anderson Cooper 360 CNN, and all local major news networks.
BBC World News, WBAI, “Democracy Now” World Vision Radio, Senator Bill Bradley radio program, “American Voices”, Voice of America, WCBS.
“I'll Stand by You” “Why good things happen to good people” and “Being the Change”
The NY Times, Washington Post, N.Y Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Kuwait Times, UK Herald, Jesuit Provincial, Catholic New York
Honors/ Notable Mention
People Magazine voted Elissa Story “the Saint of Staten Island” one of the five best stories of the year
Amnesty International “Modern Day Saints”
Dr. Phil and his wife Robin Presented “Heart of a woman” award
HOC (Humanitarian Operating center) in Kuwait, awarded Elissa for her bravery and humanitarian work in Iraq.
Beliefnet.com, Voted one of the 12 most inspirational people of the year.
First woman Grand Marshall in the Staten Island Columbus Day parade, given the honor by Borough President James P. Molinaro.
Athena Award. The Woman’s Coalition Organization in Staten Island.
The Circle of Friends Award. The Staten Island children’s Museum
ACIM American Committee on Italian Migration
Circle of Friends, Mount Manresa
“To Walk Without Fear”. Documentary Produced by Miracle Mile Films. Premiered at the United Nations, Nov.16th 2006. Sponsored by the UN Correspondence Association and the Prince of Jordon
Inducted in her New Dorp High School Hall of Fame
Shriners Humanitarian award
Woman Of University Award
St Johns University presidents Medal
Soon to be honored:
The Salvation Army
The Urban League
Staten Island Woman Of achievement
For further information visit: www.gmrfchildren.org