Pura Vida for Children is a non profit organization, founded by New Canaan resident Sharon Knechtle in 2005, that seeks to raise awareness and inspiration to help children who have been orphaned, abandoned or sex trafficked. Pura Vida mobilizes financial resources to meet the most urgent needs, and develops sustainable sources of income onsite. At this time, Pura Vida supports children in Costa Rica, Southeast Asia and, most recently, Haiti.
The Pura Vida Club provides opportunities for high school students to raise awareness and financial resources for children in need. In addition, the students volunteer their time weekly at Neon Community Resource Center in Norwalk. Students further develop their leadership skills through a series of retreats and team building activities.
Summer Service Trips to Costa Rica occur annually. Students volunteer at the Roblealto homes for rescued children in San Jose and take part in a variety of community improvement projects in Nosara, a rural coastal village. Projects have included building shelters for the homeless and providing fun and educational activities for children.
The Pura Vida Sports Camp is another venue for college and high school students to provide a wholesome environment for local kids to develop basic athletic skills and good sportsmanship. Kids in K-8th grade participate in a variety of activities and games in a home/ sports complex. Over half of the proceeds earned go to Pura Vida to help children in need.