Home of the Open Heart History

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Home of the Open Heart began in December 2000, when Paul and Penny Wilcox took in their first young baby born to a HIV+ drug addicted mother. Just two weeks later, a second baby arrived when the welfare department was called in to rescue a tiny (1.6kg) 6 week old baby girl whose mother had died of AIDS.

It had been a dream of Penny’s for years to begin a work like this, and only after coming to Thailand with her husband and their four children did it become obvious that this dream could become a reality. Although the focus of Home of the Open Heart is to serve the needy, our mandate is to keep families together wherever possible. In seeking to achieve this, our children’s homes remain small in number rather than becoming a large institutionalized facility.

Since its conception, the team at Home of the Open Heart have assisted hundreds of families in a variety of ways. The focus during the early years was caring for babies and young children in our children’s homes; however, this expanded to include community development and income generation projects, community visits, and caring for destitute HIV+ single mothers and their families.  Then a hospice was built to provide respite and palliative care for adults and children in the end stages of AIDS. Nowadays, the focus is both community work, as well as caring for the children and teens still in our care, being family to those who have grown older, as well as supporting the HIV affected families who used to live here, but are now in our community.