Lending Hands

BY Nadine Jolie Courtney | October 23, 2018 | Feature Features National

From environmentalism to the arts and everything in between, the range of charitable causes to support seems to grow every year. Here, L.A.'s philanthropic power players share the organizations closest to their hearts.
Jane Seymour and Katie Flynn

Hearts Aflame
Jane Seymour and daughter Katie Flynn carry on a legacy of community giving.

“If you can find a way to help somebody else, it’ll take you out of your own cycle of challenges, so you can find a purpose and impact others,” says Jane Seymour, OBE, and Emmy Award-winning actress, of her Open Hearts Foundation, a social impact accelerator providing resources and tools to nonprofits. Seymour, impacted by her mother’s experiences as an internment camp survivor during WWII, founded the organization in 2010. “She was all about helping other people, and always said, ‘Darling, when life is tough and you’re dealing with something insurmountable, there’s always someone more hard off than you,’” she explains. Seymour passed along the legacy of giving to her daughter, Katie Flynn, who co-founded Young Hearts with friends Ella Freyinger and Adee Zach. An auxiliary branch of Open Hearts, Young Hearts aims to support young philanthropists. “I was trying to teach my children about compassion and empathy, so we’d hand out care packages, and we’d have conversations,” Flynn explains. “It made a huge difference in how my daughter related to people.” Open Hearts chooses a yearly theme, such as this year’s Women and Children mission, and helps support organizations such as the Alliance for Children’s Rights for its Nov. 17 adoption day. “We wanted to build a community starting on the ground with the volunteer groups we partner with so we can match people to them,” says Flynn. For Seymour, there was never any doubt that Flynn would carry on the family legacy. “She’s always been an outgoing, loving, caring spirit, and now she’s manifesting in a way I’m incredibly proud of,” Seymour says. “It seems to have passed through the generations!

Broad Strokes
Quinn Ezralow is committed to improving quality of life for all Angelenos.

Co-chair of LACMA’s Director’s Circle, third-generation Angeleno Quinn Ezralow is passionate about giving back to L.A. “I hope to improve lifestyle, health and education for anybody and everyone in the Los Angeles area,” she says of her work with a variety of charities, from the Junior League of Los Angeles to USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center to Heart of Los Angeles, the latter of which provides over 3,500 underserved youth with nurturing programs in academics, arts and athletics. HOLA is currently partnering with the Department of Recreation and Parks to build the environmentally friendly HOLA Arts and Recreation Center, where the Ezralow Family Pavilion will boast an indoor-outdoor multifunctional performance space. While Ezralow is tireless in her work for a better L.A., it’s the Women’s Cancer Research Fund and Breast Cancer Research Fund that truly have her heart. “WCRF and BCRF are my passion,” she says of the awareness, prevention and research charities, noting the WCRF’s Unforgettable Evening gala scheduled for February 2019 at the Beverly Wilshire. No matter how big or small the issue, Ezralow is committed to addressing it. “There are so many like-minded people and a multitude of programs in L.A. It is my continued hope that everyone in Los Angeles finds a place to feel safe, dream and thrive.”

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