North Bay News

Heidi Kuhn donates time to benefit Roots of Peace

Friday, November 29, 2013

Heidi Kuhn is founder of the San Rafael-based nonprofit Roots of Peace. She thought it would be fun to donate her time on Black Friday at the same store where her daughter Kyleigh is one of the models for the chain's holiday campaign. Roots of Peace has spent years removing landmines in war-torn countries.

Kuhn isn't used to working retail. But she's working at the Gap in Corte Madera to bring attention to her cause.

She is donating her paycheck to Roots of Peace, the non-profit she founded that helps rebuild war-torn regions.

"To be able to be paid today on Black Friday, a very hard day to work after serving 20 at my family home for Thanksgiving yesterday, but I couldn't think of a better place to be in bridging the gap for peace worldwide," Kuhn said.

The Gap connection was made by Kuhn's daughter, Kyleigh, a New York-based model who was chosen as one of the faces for Gap's holiday campaign.

The company chose Kyleigh in part because of her charity work.

Kyleigh accompanied her mother to Afghanistan and went on to raise $500,000 to build two schools there.

A photo shoot kept Kyleigh from working at the Gap Friday, but her brother did join in to help.

"You can't help, but to having been to all these countries where we do work, think about everybody whose not living like the blessed life that we have here in Marin, California," Christian Kuhn said.

Their work, especially in Afghanistan, is more critical than ever.

US military forces are withdrawing and will be out by next year, while opium production is reported to be increasing.

Roots of Peace helps farmers replace poppies with grapes and other crops.

"Turning their swords into plowshares, those guns into shovels, and as I put those Afghan farmers back to work, impacting over one million farmers and families today, then we can win this war on terrorism from the ground up," Kuhn said.

In addition to Afghanistan, Roots of Peace does work in Vietnam, Croatia and the West Bank. They launched a capital campaign to raise $1 million to finish removing landmines in Bethlehem.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
roots of peace, marin county, afghanistan, israel, palestine, west bank, children, north bay news, lilian kim
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