History Overview

Heart to Heart International has provided humanitarian service in more than 130 countries, has shipped over $2 billion in aid and has logged 1.1 million volunteer hours.

1992: Heart to Heart International (HHI) began with an airlift to help people in Russia. At the time, it was the largest private humanitarian airlift ever. Donated aid was distributed to 32 area hospitals and 9 orphanages. A gift from the heart of America to the heart of Russia—the Heart to Heart Airlift— became a reality thanks to hundreds of volunteers and caring corporate partners joining together to help people in need.

1993: A new partnership is created in collaboration between the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) and HHI. It was named Physicians With Heart (PWH). PWH conducted 20 airlifts throughout Europe and Vietnam. The partnership has mobilized people and resources to improve health, provide medical education and foster the development of family medicine worldwide.

1995: Volunteers and sponsors work with HHI to deliver a message of hope and peace to the Vietnamese people. This project launched our partnership with FedEx, whose MD-11 was the first American plane to land in Hanoi since the end of the Southeast Asian conflict.  The project was an instrumental part of improving relations between the U.S. and Vietnam.

1996, HHI delivered $12 million in aid to Calcutta, India. This airlift, designed to help Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, took three years to organize. The assembly of God Mission Hospital, Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Cancer Centre and Welfare Home, and four large teaching hospitals in Calcutta, among others, were recipients of medical aid and products.

1997: The Goodwill Medical Airlift to the People’s Republic of China landed with 36 tons of medicines and supplies ($6.2 million in U.S. wholesale). The aid was distributed throughout the Sichuan Province in southwest China. Many people in this area subsist on less than $60 (U.S. equivalent) per year. They face food  shortages and lack of basic supplies, including medicines. Dr. Gary Morsch said the operation was a success because of coordinated efforts between HHI, its donors and the Chinese government.

2010: HHI responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Staying beyond the earthquake response, HHI hired, trained and helped create Haitian leadership to make a long-lasting change in Haiti. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti, and HHI Haitian trained medical teams responded.

2014: HHI responded to the Ebola crisis in Liberia by setting up and running an Ebola Treatment Unit. In addition, HHI trained administrators and teachers in the local school district in safe hygiene practices.

2015: HHI began supplying medicines, medical supplies, tents, soccer balls and hygiene kits to Syrian refugees.

2017: HHI responded to three consecutive hurricanes: Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico. The responses overlapped and together became one of the largest responses in HHI history.

2018: HHI responded to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and Hurricane Michael in Florida, as well as volcano Fuego in Guatemala and wildfires in California.

2019: HHI responded to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, the crisis at the U.S. southern border, Midwest flooding and tornadoes, and California wildfires.

Since the beginning, HHI has been a first responder to disasters all over the world. From floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons and humanitarian crises, HHI has quickly responded with medical teams, medical supplies, equipment and hygiene health products.

Learn more about our recent disaster responses.

Click on an image to learn more about HHI’s story.