IN THE BEGINNING
An Inspiring Story Of One’s Calling to Help Others
Danny Gokey, American Idol Season 8 Alumnus and BMG Recording Artist, founded Sophia’s Heart in 2008 to memorialize the life of his late wife and extraordinary woman, Sophia. Despite her severe heart condition, Sophia’s abundant love for helping children overflowed, touching the lives of countless families across her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin during her vibrant and meaningful 27 years of life. She conveyed the importance of meeting the needs of children educationally, emotionally and spiritually.
After her passing, her legacy continued to share the heart she possessed through a living, continual demonstration of her love. Although Sophia’s dream to become a mother was never realized, Danny hopes the number of children and families touched through the vision of Sophia’s Heart will be larger than they ever imagined.
Sophia’s Heart Foundation is able to change lives and restore hope for hundreds of youth and families in Milwaukee and Nashville. We achieve our mission by uniting individuals, organizations, companies, ministries and receiving charitable donations.
Motivating at-risk youth and families towards perpetual success through music and arts, transitional housing, leadership training, and family strengthening using a Christian-centered approach.
Seeing Beyond Today and Continuing to Grow for Tomorrow
We believe in a Christian-centered approach to addressing life-changing issues faced by youth and families. We strive to assist children and families in the community by engaging in the relevant issues that affect success and positive community growth. We believe that we are to follow Christ and have a relationship with children and families, especially those who are poor, outcast, or marginalized by society.
“One Heart…Touching Many,” conveys the vision and passion of Sophia’s Heart President and Founder, Danny Gokey. Through our unique transitional housing program, we are successfully breaking the cycle of homelessness and keeping families together in Nashville. Our culturally relevant Music and Arts program in Milwaukee has become an educational and supportive service staple among underserved youth across the greater community who would not otherwise have those opportunities. Like Sophia, we believe that every individual can accomplish great things in life when given the right tools, and have the support and encouragement needed to reach new heights. Together we can make a difference in every life we touch!
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Nashville’s Transitional Housing History
In 2010, Sophia’s Heart established a flood relief center in Nashville to help victims of the historical spring flood. Food, clothing, clean water and supplies were provided to flood victims over a four-month span. Following the flood relief, a 77,000 sq. ft. building located in East Nashville was donated to Sophia’s Heart to create a transitional housing program. The program was set up to offer families a safe home in which the family unit could live together for six months to one year, receiving job and life-skills training, counseling, and education, with the end goal of acquiring permanent housing and becoming self-sufficient following the transition into their own home.
Since its inception, the program has helped over 75 families accomplish long term housing solutions. In addition, due to the unique nature of the program, which allows families to stay together during the transition, it maintains a waiting list of many more families in need of support. It is our desire to expand the program and accommodate up to 150 families per year with your support.
Milwaukee After-school Music and Arts Program History
The Sophia’s Heart Music and Arts Program was launched in Danny Gokey’s hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2008. The program was established to offer disadvantaged youth an opportunity to engage in a music and art education experience to which they would not otherwise be exposed. The program partnered with the St. Marcus School, a national leader and model for successful, college-preparatory schools and the Lincoln Center of the Arts to usher in the first class of participants into the program. Students ranging in grades six through twelve eagerly auditioned and joined the music troupe that focuses on singing hits from the top billboard charts.
The dance program was started in the summer of 2010. The youth that participate in the dance and music troupe encounter unique opportunities to open for Danny Gokey and perform with him at several concerts in the area, including performances at SummerFest, Festa Italiana, WinterFest, and most recently, Camp Hometown Heroes.
In the winter of 2011, Recording and Video Arts, also known as “Phase 11,” was added to the Music and Arts Program. Utilizing studio-quality equipment, youth are exposed to the behind the scenes experience of filming, producing and editing video and recording music in a controlled environment.
This combination of motivated youth, relevant music, and opportunity have provided a community where creativity and leadership thrive. The Music and Arts program in Milwaukee provides ingredients for youth to succeed in the performance realm motivating them to succeed in school and ultimately in their futures.
- "Being in this program I finally feel like I have a family that supports me" - Sophia’s Heart Music and Arts Program Student, 2015
- "It’s been interesting staying here at Sophia’s Heart. It’s getting better, though, and has relieved some of my stress as far as bills are concerned." - Sheronda Wells
- "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own." - Benjamin Disraeli