GENEVA PEAY, CEO & PRESIDENT OF CHOA
Mrs. Geneva Peay is founder, President and CEO of Caring Hearts of America (CHOA), and served as a community advocate and Chair of the Board for the Pine Valley Community Development Center in Charlotte NC, and organizer of community events and back-to-school events in low-income areas.
Geneva's passion to fulfill Caring Hearts of America’s mission has deep roots. Growing up as the second oldest of five siblings, Geneva knew firsthand what it felt like to be hungry as a child. She remembers the days of eating mayonnaise sandwiches, and on occasions eating cereal with water during the summer while school was out and her parents were away at work. As an adult, Geneva began to see so many hungry children and their struggles throughout North Carolina communities and could not help but remember her own childhood roots and times of hunger. Those roots and experiences are what gave her the tenacity and determination to take a stand and join in on the fight against childhood hunger in America.
CHOA was birth in 2011 from a vision that was given to Geneva in helping disadvantage children. Prior to the birth of CHOA, Geneva was employed in the transportation industry with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools from 1981 until 2011 and provided exemplary service during her tenure. Geneva received recognitions by the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board for “bus driver of the month” on many occasions, as well as “bus driver of the year.”
Little did Geneva know, her humble beginning as a bus driver would become the gateway to Caring Hearts of America and the impact CHOA would make in fighting childhood hunger in North Carolina. The gateway begin to open in 2010 through one of Geneva’s bus routes where children were served at a local homeless shelter for women and children. More often than not, during those early morning hours the children would board her bus with empty stomachs and more than an hour commute before arriving to school. They would ask for food, and of course Geneva would always have healthy snacks and fruit with her to help hold them over until they receive their breakfast at school. This was a pivotal moment for Geneva that made a huge impact on her heart and gave her the drive to do more to help in the fight against hunger that plagues our communities today.
Today, Caring Hearts of America is a growing non-profit organization that fights daily against childhood hunger in the State of North Carolina. CHOA partners with “Feed the Children” to distribute food to various parts of North Carolina. It is Geneva’s faith in God, faithful volunteers and staff, and sponsors that gives her the strength and ongoing determination to accomplish CHOA's mission, "No child hungry in North Carolina!"