Krista Kleiner is an angel in disguise. Former Miss Philippines, Krista is a television host, writer, spokesperson, advocate, entrepreneur, philanthropist, singer/songwriter and the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization, The One Heart Movement. Launched in 2021, The One Heart Movement’s mission is to foster unity and well-being through the power of community love. Creating a number of compelling local and global initiatives, Krista intends to help heal the divide our society is experiencing by bringing people together to make a positive difference through our shared humanity.
Although born and raised in California, at age six Krista accompanied her mother to a children’s hospital in the Philippines. After seeing the resilience and courage of children living in poverty, she was inspired to live her life with purpose, which led her to becoming a philanthropist and humanitarian as a mindful adult.
The world is full of love that goes unspoken. Humanity is fragile and all the sunshine in the world can’t save the frail or make the delicate invincible. But love has the power to strengthen and protect and guide us to a place where we feel sheltered and fulfilled.[j1]
You’re a television host, writer, advocate, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and a singer/songwriter…how do you balance all your shining careers?
I’ve pulled back regarding the singing and songwriting for the time being. I’m Filipino so it’s pretty much a prerequisite to sing and dance throughout life anyways (laughs). It’s a beautiful part of the culture and how we celebrate life.
During COVID, I felt called to put all my time, attention, and energy into focusing on how I could contribute to our local and global community. I will always enjoy the performing arts, but I’ve never felt more at peace, happy, and fulfilled doing the work that I’m doing right now.
Tell me about The One Heart Movement’s mission?
Our mission is to foster unity and well-being through the power of community love. Our mission statement is intentionally broad to open us up to being able to pursue a wide range of interests and was inspired by recognizing that many of our world’s most dire challenges stem from people’s lost connection to the community spirit that brought us here in the first place. I felt that if we could find a way to remind each other that we’re all on the same team, finding solutions to global and individual problems would become much easier.
The “well-being” of our mission stems from the acknowledgment that if we’re not well, whether emotionally, financially, mentally, etc., it’s difficult for us to be there for others. So, taking care of our well-being and helping each other is also a very big component to our collective success. By including “through community love”, we empower the collective with the knowledge that we all have the power to create change. Each of us can create change, even when walking in a room with a certain energy or a smile. With concentrated efforts and collaboration, the sky’s the limit.
What has your process been to grow this nonprofit?
In just eight months, we’ve been blessed in successfully getting several different initiatives off the ground, including a viral social media campaign supporting our healthcare heroes, a global health initiative, a racial justice initiative, and an environmental program that also supports gender equality and education.
We introduced ourselves to the world and started building our One Heart community by launching a global public demonstration of community love on Valentine’s Day to expand it as being more than just a romantic holiday. This was especially important during that time of COVID when people were feeling more isolated than ever. With the support of participants from all around the world posting videos and pictures using the universal symbol of love (two hands in the shape of a heart), we declared Valentine’s Day, and the entire month of February, as a time of community love through our #onhearthandoff. But our overall goal was for this to spark a sentiment to carry on throughout the year. We’re proud to see the momentum that has continued to build since.
What do you mean when referencing the power of community?
When I say community, I’m referencing our global community, which is reflected in our logo – our Earth in the shape of a heart. Obviously, we can break that down into local and national communities, but the goal is to unite the entire human race.
There is so much power in people coming together and working towards a common goal. We see it with companies and technologies that grow at exponential rates creating change throughout the world. Now, we are calling people to take the time to bring their minds and hearts together to help uplift underserved communities and save our planet so we can have a supportive home that will sustain life for all of us and future generations.
When you are referring to shared humanity, knowing that we are all human but also knowing that we all don’t have the same agenda, how do you intend to bring that part of it together?
Our vision to create shared prosperity must be a group effort. This starts with believing in the notion that what happens to the most vulnerable among us affects us all collectively, and that our neighbor’s struggle is ultimately our own. Likewise, personal prosperity is only truly fulfilling in a world where it can be shared amongst others.
If we can see our society as an extended community, instead of “othering” each other based on minuscule differences, the path forward would be clearer for many of our most dire problems. Rather, we can celebrate these differences as part of what makes our shared humanity so special.
By viewing these cultural crossroads as opportunities to bring beauty to our tumultuous tribal instincts, we’ll reconcile the idea that these differences are supported by a shared vision of individual, communal, and societal well-being. As we lift each other up, we all rise.
How did you put this vision into action?
It began by setting an intention. Our intention was to bring people together to support the most relevant causes of our time.
When we first started, we felt the most pressing issue was supporting our healthcare heroes because they had endured so much since the beginning of COVID and many were suffering without the time to even fully process the trauma they were taking on day in and day out. So, we started with something very simple.
I personally went with friends and family to a number of hospitals throughout Los Angeles and Orange County to greet healthcare workers coming in and out of their 12-hour shifts with balloons, flowers, t-shirts and other gifts to show them our gratitude. It was very moving to see just how much it meant to them. Since then, our organization has expanded by creating programs and initiatives to address some other pressing challenges we’re facing.
During the rise in Asian hate crimes in the US, I was moved to take action. It really hit home for me, especially being Eurasian American and part of the AAPI community. After being asked to host the Asian World Film Festival, which takes place in Los Angeles, I realized that they needed some extra support. The One Heart Movement came on as sponsor and presenting partner in light of film being a powerful tool that promotes cultural diversity as well as a means to transform the way people relate to each other.
Another issue that became more prevalent during the pandemic was the state of people’s mental well-being. So we partnered with MTV and over 1,000 organizations for Mental Health Action Day, committing to take action in this area moving forward. Soon after, we were introduced to a film about suicide recovery directed by Michel Pascal, starring Gabriella Wright and featuring Deepak Chopra and Michael Beckwith. Every 40 seconds someone takes their own life (and this statistic was from before COVID). Needless to say, it impacts far more as it touches the lives of the loved ones they leave behind. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with The Chopra Foundation on this film and to lend our support in raising awareness around this historically taboo subject.
On a global scale, issues such as climate change, poverty, hunger and women’s empowerment have also become very important to us. We’ve partnered with ForestNation to take action by planting trees and growing a forest. We created a new program that connects our original initiative to support our healthcare heroes and those affected by COVID by establishing
the One Heart Forest. Our goal is to plant 5 million+ trees for every life that has been lost due to the pandemic, thus addressing climate, poverty and hunger, while empowering women, who make up 90% of the workforce that are growing and planting trees with us in Tanzania.
We are very excited to announce that on November 10th, the first ever “Call to Earth Day”, a donation of 115,000 trees has been made on behalf of every healthcare worker that was lost in the first year to COVID. It’s interesting to see people moved to do something for the environment through connection with human life, honoring those we’ve lost, and showing a commitment to take care of life on earth for all of us and future generations.
One of the key drivers of the One Heart Forest is the fact that anyone can donate and make a difference today. For as little as $3, the general public can contribute ten new trees to help restore our planet’s health. To date, over 200,000 trees are being grown and we’re on our way towards reaching our goal. Visitors can help by making a contribution on our One Heart Forest profile page, where they can also track the growth of our forest, view impact statistics, see photos and videos from the forest community and write a dedication.
Since trees are essential for our collective well-being (effectively defending against climate change, offsetting carbon pollution and providing 33% of the oxygen we breathe), the One Heart Forest is a natural extension of The One Heart Movement’s mission to foster unity and well-being on a global scale.
To learn more and/or make a contribution today, please visit: www.theoneheartmovement.org