It is a great honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase, it only saddens me that my husband, Tony Blanco, cannot be with me to share this moment, as he would be as honored and proud as I am.
I congratulate you on the beautiful initiative to support and celebrate the dedication, passion and integrity of women in film everywhere, and I thank TheWIFTS Board for considering me worthy of this precious award. I am very sorry to be unable to receive it in person. Thank you!
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
DEC 5th 2015 WEST HOLLYWOOD
Passion & Integrity Commerce & Creativity Equality Not Hierarchy
Linda Cruse is the recipient of TheWIFTS Humanitarian Award 2015
for her selfless commitment and dedication to the pursuit of changing the lives of displaced people from natural disasters and human conflict through
her organization Be The Change.
Linda Cruse is an international aid worker. Her 15 years of frontline humanitarian aid work has taken her to every continent in the world where she has assisted in some of the world's most catastrophic natural disasters: the Asian tsunami, the Pakistani earthquake, two Philippine super-typhoons, and the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. Linda has also ventured into conflict zones, high mountain nomadic areas and refugee camps, as well as aiding challenged communities worldwide.
In 1996, Linda, a stressed-out mum working in a job she disliked intensely, was driving along a motorway in the middle of the night when she suffered temporary blindness. This terrifying episode led to a blinding insight: what is the point of living if life has no point?
Determined to make a difference, Linda started a new life, a scary, lonely, but always emotionally fulfilling job: teaching skills and bringing aid – and, above all, love – to war-torn refugees, the poverty stricken, and the victims of disaster.
Linda has fused her passion for adventure, an explorer's spirit and a deep desire to make a difference to remote communities. To enable her to do this she launched a unique concept: Be the Change. Linda challenges business leaders to be a catalyst for change with great success. Be The Change uses the entrepreneurial skills and acumen of business leaders to assist in solving some of the world's intractable problems.
Cruse's area of expertise lies in bridging the gap between private and public sectors and creating health, education and business development to generate innovative opportunities for sustainable employment, income generation and value add.
Her trademark is her ability to broker powerful partnerships between large businesses who want to help stricken communities, but do not know how to go about it, and local charities. Fired by her determination and ethos of "A Hand Up not A Hand Out," she takes small groups of highly successful individuals to some of the remotest parts of the world where communities struggle to either overcome natural or man-made disasters, or to make the most of their existing resources. Be The Change leverages the potent capabilities of these individuals' vision, know-how and ability to identify income streams, with Linda creating the bridge between entrepreneurs and the communities she has "adopted."
In 2014, Linda Cruse, international aid worker, disaster management specialist, author, inspirational speaker, creator of the Emergency Zen thought leadership series and social entrepreneur, was appointed a Senior Fellow and Entrepreneur in Residence in the College of Business and Law at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.