By James Forrest

I’ve said many times that one of the great pleasures of being a business attorney is working with visionary entrepreneurs.  These people may have big dreams of striking it rich, or they may have an idea that can change the world.  Perhaps the latter is true with one of the Forrest Firm’s newest clients, Small Hands Big Hearts United.

This fledgling organization is built on a lot of hope and even more prayer, as founder Anita Pease attempts to harness the natural instinct of children to be compassionate to others and the world around them.  Without regard to age restrictions, Small Hands Big Hearts United educates, coordinates, and provides creative and accessible ways for kids to participate in charitable activities and fundraisers that they refer to as “compassion missions.” The group empowers children to make a difference in their community and encourages them to make compassionate choices in their daily lives.

Small Handers have participated in fundraisers and activities for charities. They’ve written comforting letters to wounded soldiers in our ongoing foreign conflicts and to children fighting various cancers and rare conditions at St. Jude’s Children’s hospital. An organization with a true home-and-abroad focus, Small Hands Big Hearts United has brought kids together for local food banks, Habitat for Humanity, and Ronald McDonald House, and they’ve even delivered much-needed assistance to an orphanage in Thailand and typhoon victims in the Philippines.

The driving force for launching Small Hands Big Hearts United came from Pease’s own seven-year-old daughter. As they watched news depicting the immense suffering, Pease’s daughter asked, “Mommy, what are we doing to help those children?” Pease said that, while this wasn’t the first time her daughter had held her accountable for something, it would be the last time she didn’t have an answer for her.

After pausing to ponder her daughter’s compassion for children oceans away, Pease began to think about an organization for people like her family.  As she and her husband lead the typically busy lives of people raising three young children close in age, they need an organization that would not only challenge them to be better and more generous of time and resources, but teach their children the benefits of serving others. She says it’s important that Small Hands Big Hearts United “provides charitable events, fundraisers, and education in a unique way that enables parents to pick and choose what sparks their family’s passion and fits well with their schedules at the time of their lives.”

Pease also takes inspiration from for her new organization from her husband, Tony.  After participating in a recent Habitat for Humanity build with the group, her husband reflected on the experience for his company’s blog. He wrote, “The cornerstone of starting a new business is aligning your venture with your passion.  I see quite a few ventures fail because people mistake passion for excitement.  Excitement is a temporary condition, whereas passion is enduring.  In this particularly muddy, rainy day with the looming threat of strong winds and possible tornadoes, the team’s passion to the mission rallied the volunteers by describing how the future homeowners’ lives would be forever changed by their efforts.”

It’s been a thrill to work with Anita Pease here at the Forrest Firm and see the impact that Small Hands Big Hearts United is having on our children here in the Triangle, and through those children, an incredible impact on our community and the world around us.

To learn more about Small Hands Big Hearts United, check their Facebook page at  A website,, is coming soon as well.