In the grip of inspiration, a leader emerges to connect the community of naturally minded people. Marie Naumann; wife, mother of two, entrepreneur, and founder of the Holistic Education Foundation’s (HEF) Suffolk County Chapter, has begun to collaborate & organize a local group of the 501c3 non-profit that is dedicated to free education in holistic health & natural alternatives.
Marie, following her life’s mission, to live her best life to the fullest while helping others who want to do that too, is often referred to as a career volunteer. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader for two troops and volunteers as part of the Girl Scout Service Unit Team. Marie was a Big Sister for Big Brothers/Big Sisters for several years and had three “Littles”. She is still in touch with her first “Little” who is married with a teenage daughter and another on the way. If that’s not enough, Marie volunteers to help with the accounting functions for an annual event held by Hair We Share, which is a nonprofit organization that provides free wigs to those who suffer from medical hair loss.
At an early age, Marie had a successful career in both the private & public sector of accounting. Yearning for a different life, Marie left behind, to marry her best friend, Brian & became a mom to 2 beautiful daughters.
Being a stay at home mom was Marie’s dream come true, and like all moms, she wanted her children to be happy and healthy. When her youngest was an infant, Marie began to take notice of a series of health challenges her baby was experiencing. When she couldn’t get answers from the medical community, she began to look for alternative ways to help her family. Marie tirelessly investigated many different modalities of health, and she found natural ways to help her daughter through the health challenges… and today her daughter is thriving!
In life, we all get lemons, Marie is one of those that made lemonade. It was through that rough journey that she grew as a mother, and a person. Along the way, Marie learned many different holistic and natural life skills that she brings to HEF. The more she learned, the more she wanted to learn. Marie, went back to school and became a Certified Life Coach. The things she learned along the way, not only helped her children, but also her husband, and herself. Through her efforts, she made great connections, making new friends that looked at life the same way she did. In her travels to find natural cures, she met Lety Algerie, who is the co-leader for HEF Suffolk County, and Catte O’Connor, Founder of Holistic Education Foundation. In an effort to share her knowledge & expertise, while connecting the community of naturally minded people, Marie along with her friend Lety, and Renee Barbis, launched the Suffolk County Chapter of HEF.
Holistic Education Foundation was founding in 2017 in Florida. In 2018, Catte O’Connor reached out to Marie to see if she was interested in launching a local chapter in NY. Marie jumped on the opportunity to take HEF to the national level. In January 2019, HEF launched the chapter & Marie, Lety, and Renee have been holding free monthly meetings ever since. Each month is a different topic & a guest speaker is invited to share their expertise with the group. It is an informal meeting, which allows & promotes community connection & interaction. The local chapters participate in a wholesale coop, which allows them to group buy natural & organic products at wholesale prices.
Nationally, HEF has an active Facebook group which allows people to connect with holistically minded people across the country. HEF currently has chapters in Florida & New York, and is in the process of launching Chapters across the country. Nationally, HEF has also launched a new virtual program called The Achievement Project (TAP). TAP is a goal setting program infused with holistic modalities to help people achieve their dreams.
We asked Marie what HEF means to her, she defines it as: “HEF is dedicated to educating everyone, not just one specific demographic, on different modalities of holistic and natural lifestyles. We welcome everyone at our meetings and hope to make everyone feel connected, regardless of where they are in their holistic journey. Some are just starting to learn about health alternatives, some already know many of the alternatives and are already incorporating them into their lives. Wherever you are in your journey, we are here to welcome you. We are run by volunteers and run on a shoestring budget. We hope that people will want to join us and support the Foundation by becoming a member, but membership is not required to attend our meetings. We do hold member only events and participate in a member only buying coop, but our monthly meetings are always free to attend.”
For Marie, the best thing about HEF is the people. Creating a group that supports each other and shares ideas to help each other in a multitude of ways.
We asked Marie: “Is there anything you wish people knew about HEF” She replied: “That we (HEF) really are just a nice community of like minded, non-judgmental people. None of us are in exactly the same place in our holistic journey and we are all working together to support each other where we are…and we would love for you to be a part of it too.”
For more information about Holistic Education Foundation including how to find or start a chapter in your area, please visit our website: www.HEFgives.org