In 2011, the Stevens family began volunteering together at a small animal shelter. For two years, they would take a whole day each weekend walking dogs or tossing a ball in the yard, cleaning litter boxes and playing with the kitties, or taking a lucky pup on a field trip. Kendall, the youngest of the family, created a special bond with a shelter dog named Athens. With a house full of their own dogs, the Stevens were unable to take Athens home. The 9-year-old girl was inspired to do all she could to help Athens find a place to belong.

The bond between a shelter dog and this little girl became the catalyst that is Hearts Alive Village. Kendall dreamed of a sanctuary where she could help homeless animals like Athens. She wrote about it in a 5th grade English journal where she named her organization Hearts Alive. When Christy Stevens read her daughter’s words, she asked Kendall “ Is this really your dream?”  Kendall answered, “It’s what I want to do more than anything in the world, but I didn’t think it was possible because you work too much at your job, Mom.” Christy’s heart broke.

It was true that she worked very long hours. But, it was absolutely unacceptable that this fact should stand in the way of Kendall’s dream. She set out to show her daughter that dreams could come true no matter what the perceived challenges. The whole family got behind the idea! They started small in the fall of 2013 with Kendall’s Kupboard, a pet food bank. In January of 2014, Hearts Alive Village rescued its first two dogs, Roxy and Diesel. Today, the organization has saved thousands of dogs and cats with the help of the community, The Village.
One of Kendall’s and Athens’s tender moments is featured on our logo. He found the incredible home Kendall always wished for him.