About the episode
"I realized that I am here for a purpose. God has a plan and mission for my life, and I can only accomplish that with Him by my side." Lauren Costabile remembers a summer serving at a camp for children and youth with special needs. In her nervousness, she connected with a camper with Down Syndrome, and she says that this was like a hug from God. As she learned more and grew in her desire to serve this community, she founded the organization Hearts of Joy International, which provides heart surgery for children with Down Syndrome in countries where families can’t afford medical care. In this episode, Lauren and I talk about how she founded Hearts of Joy International, her deep desire to serve others, and how our little 'yeses' help us live out our God-given plan and mission for our lives.
Listen to the episode
Meet Lauren Costabile
Lauren Costabile is the Founder and Executive Director of Hearts of Joy International. A New Jersey native, Lauren is a Speaker and fierce advocate for those with Down syndrome. She is deeply passionate about serving this population and showing the world the immense gift that these children are. Lauren graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a degree in Recreational Therapy and has over 13 years of experience working with children with special needs. After traveling to Uganda, East Africa in 2017, she witnessed firsthand how individuals with Down syndrome are disregarded and seen as a burden to society. As a result, these children are not receiving proper medical care and therefore are dying. This pierced Lauren’s heart and she was inspired to create a program exclusively for children with Down syndrome to receive proper cardiac treatment. In 2018, Hearts of Joy International was born. Lauren also counsels and provides education about Down syndrome and heart defects to families, communities and orphanages around the world. She believes that no matter what country you are born in or what your life circumstances are, every child deserves an equal chance at a happy and healthy life and will never stop fighting to make that possible!
Hearts of Joy International website: https://www.heartsofjoyinternational.com