Miami’s Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc. Benefitting Lotus House Shelter for Women and Youth, Elects Gisele Bündchen and Javier Aviñó as Board Members

Press Release
April 12, 2024

Miami, FL – The governing body of Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc., the supporting foundation benefitting the nation’s largest homeless shelter for women, youth and children is expanding its board with the addition of two longtime supporters who will help advance the expansion of the shelter’s services and impact. The Lotus Endowment Fund, which supports Miami’s Lotus House shelter, has elected philanthropist, world-renowned model, and wellness advocate Gisele Bündchen and prominent land use attorney Javier Aviñó as its newest board members.

Ms. Bündchen, a passionate philanthropist and dedicated advocate for women and children, is a Miami resident who recently donated $1 million to fund a new playground at The Children’s Village, a new facility now under development across the street from the Lotus House shelter which will address the health, educational, therapeutic, and social needs of children and youth.

Mr. Aviñó has been a longtime supporter of Lotus House through his role as the Land Development & Government Relations Practice Group Leader at Miami-based law firm Bilzin Sumberg. The Firm has provided pro bono services to Lotus House for more than a decade, including spearheading all facets of land use, zoning and permitting, and tax credit financing for the development of the new Children’s Village and Lotus Village.

“Gisele and Javier have been tireless supporters of Lotus House who have each made a direct impact on our growth and success, so their election to our Board is a natural progression,” said Lotus House founder Constance Collins. “Lotus House has made tremendous progress toward ending homelessness for women, youth and children in Miami, and that mission will expand to preventing homelessness as we launch an innovative new national model for a neighborhood children’s resource center in The Children’s Village this coming year.”

Since opening its doors with 34 shelter beds in 2006, Lotus House has grown to serve more than 11,000 women, children, and youth. In 2018, the organization debuted the state-of-the-art Lotus Village, which has set national standards for trauma-informed shelter design, operation, and programming with capacity for up to 500 women and children. Today, more than 80 percent of the shelter’s guests successfully exit the shelter system following their time at Lotus Village, far exceeding the national average of between 60 and 65 percent.

The Children’s Village, now under construction across the street from the shelter, will further the nonprofit’s mission of ending – and preventing – homelessness. Centered on the educational, wellness, and special needs of children and youth, the five-story, state-of-the-art facility will expand Lotus House’s reach into the surrounding community. Features will include a preschool for children ages three to five, afterschool and summer programs, child and family therapeutic services, a wide range of programming in science, technology, literacy, and the creative arts, access to healthcare and social services, a playground, and a vast array of community resources and activities.

“We are ending and preventing homelessness in The Children’s Village by investing in children – they are our future!,” adds Constance Collins. “We are more than halfway through our $25 million capital campaign, and we continue seeking philanthropic support from the community for this life-changing project.”

About Lotus House
Since launching in 2006, Lotus House has sheltered more than 10,000 women, youth and children experiencing homelessness, with over 80 percent of the shelter’s guests successfully exiting the shelter system. More than a shelter, Lotus House offers holistic support services including restorative therapies for children and adults, employment counseling, life skills training, early childhood education, medical and mental health services, and more. Together, these tools empower women and children to heal, transform their lives, achieve greater self-sufficiency and build the foundation for safer, brighter futures.

About Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc, the sponsor of the Lotus Village Project
The sponsor of the Children’s Village project is Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc., a 501c3, non-profit charitable foundation formed and operated exclusively to support the Sundari Foundation, Inc. dba Lotus House, itself a 501c3, non-profit public charity dedicated to providing support, education, tools and resources to poor, disadvantaged and homeless women, youth and children in our community. A $25 Million capital campaign has been launched by Lotus Endowment Fund to power the Children’s Village project.

About Bilzin Sumberg
Bilzin Sumberg counsels clients whose business and legal opportunities and challenges span the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm's growth has paralleled that of its Miami home base, a region known for its rich cultural, social, and professional diversity. Bilzin Sumberg stands at the center of virtually every major transaction shaping Florida and is at the forefront of the state’s most pressing economic issues – from infrastructure, transit and mobility, to affordability and the diversification of the state’s economy. Bilzin Sumberg lawyers concentrate on services at the heart of both regional and international commerce, including real estate, land development and government relations, environmental, construction, corporate and securities, finance, joint ventures, domestic and international tax and private wealth planning, antitrust, business litigation, and public-private partnerships. For more information, please visit

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