Be Like Irena

On 22 December 2018, an ordinary woman, Irena Ivic, a bus driver for Milwaukee County Transit System, while driving on a route 54, spotted a child on a cold street walking barefoot and wearing only light clothes. Without much hesitation, Irena stopped the bus, ran across the road and took the child to safety. It all happened only a few steps away from a highway exit, and on 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 Celsius). Local authorities say that if it wasn’t for Irena's "eagle eye and quick thinking" this whole event could have had a tragic ending.

Thanks to the modern technology and social media, this heroic act was captured on a video which went viral within a day. Irena's act of kindness has inspired millions of people around the world. Messages of gratitude and appreciation keep coming ever since, from as far as Japan, Australia, South America, many European countries, all over USA and especially her country of origin, Serbia. The video of her saving a child was also endorsed by many celebrities.

To honor Irena's big heart and fearless spirit, her family has decided to initiate a crowdfunding campaign, which would give an opportunity to others to help children who live on the streets.
According to Covenant House , the largest non-profit organization that works with youth who live on the streets, 1 of every 10 young adults experience a form of homelessness in the course of a year. That's 3.5 million young adults ages 18 to 25. Reasons which cause young people to experience difficulties on their path and end up on the streets vary. One thing is certain, they all deserve a helping hand to stand up and fight for their future.

If we reach the goal for this campaign that was set to USD 50,000, we would direct USD 35,000 to Covenant House , a non-profit organization that provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness across the US, while USD 15,000 will go to Center for Youth Integration which operates two Drop-In Shelters for homeless children in Serbia. Both charities provide thousands of children a safe environment to sleep, shower, eat a meal and feel warmth of a home.

In case we reach over USD 1000, but we do not reach our goal, from the amount we collect 70% will be distributed to Covenant House and 30% to Center for Youth Integration. If by any chance we over-reach the goal, all the remaining funds (above the goal limit) will be directed towards other charities with similar purpose, or, depending on the amount, towards forming a non-profit charity organization that will further honor “heroes next door” and support vulnerable groups, especially children and youth. However, everything under USD 1000 will be returned to donors.

While Irena thinks that December 22nd 2018 was a regular day at work, many believe that her heroic episode should stay remembered, and further inspire others.

We hope people will recognize that heroes are among us. They do not necessarily look like movie stars or speak English perfectly. Heroes could be just regular people next door, like Irena. They could be YOU.

Be Like Irena, help a child.


This fundraising campaign is being organized directly by Jovana Ivic, Irena Ivic's daughter who lives in Austin, Texas at the moment, and Dejan Drobnjak, Irena's brother who lives in Belgrade, Serbia. The funds raised will be transferred directly to two non-profit organisations mentioned above and the donors will be informed accordingly. For all additional information please contact


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Fundraising team (2)

Jovana Ivić 
Milwaukee, WI
Dejan Drobnjak 
Team member
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