More Aid for The Philippines

Haiyan by Satellite


The Philippines have been getting hammered this storm season with more than two dozen tropical storm systems, including four cyclones, of which the latest – Super Typhoon Haiyan – may be the biggest and strongest storm recorded on earth.

For the past several months, Heart to Heart International has shipped aid, medicine and supplies to partners in the Philippines, like Hope Worldwide & Convoy of Hope, who then distribute the aid where needed.  Of course, our friends on the ground asked for more assistance even before Haiyan made landfall.  Rest assured – more aid is on the way!

J&J Hygiene KitsInside our Global Distribution Center, relief supplies are prepped for shipping.  Pallets of Heart to Heart Care Kits, along with J&J Hygiene Kits are stacked ready for to go.

Also, volunteers have been busy building more of our Care Kits that will help resupply our dwindling stock.  On the same day Haiyan struck the Philippines, a group of volunteers from Sanofi were at the GDC busy building hundreds of our Care Kits.

We’re very grateful for volunteers like the folks above for helping us to not just be prepared, but to help HHI respond to those in need – like the folks suffering in the Philippines from yet another massive storm.



Heart to Heart Sends Aid to Philippines

Typhoon BophaEarly December 2012, Typhoon Bopha (locally Pablo) made landfall on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao as a Category 5 super typhoon.  It was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the island in recorded history, with wind gusts of 160 mph (260 km/h).

courtesy: Philippine Daily Inquirer/ Mariane Bermudez

courtesy: Philippine Daily Inquirer/ Mariane Bermudez

The storm laid a path of destruction.  Mudslides, torrential rain, winds flattened villages, floods washed away homes and people, thousands were made homeless by the damage or destruction of 200,000+ homes.

At last tally, the death toll stands at 1,067 with a further 834 people reported missing. There are still 7,524 people staying in evacuation centers, while 835,934 displaced people are seeking shelter elsewhere. (OCHA, 15 Jan 2012)

Typhoon Bopha/Pablo was devastating, to say the least.  The Philippines government and the United Nations has put out the call for more aid — And Heart to Heart is responding!

We have already shipped seven pallets of Heart to Heart Care Kits via FedEx Express. They’re headed to our partners the International Medical Corps (IMC) and the Asia America Initiative.
Loading PalletsThe Care Kits travel first from Kansas City to Los Angeles, then to Manila and from there south to Davao City on the island of Mindanao for distribution to those in need.

And we have more on the way. Heart to Heart is readying another shipment of Care Kits bound for another partner in Manila.


Thoughts from Hurricane Sandy

Heart to Heart International has now shifted into Phase II of our Hurricane Sandy response in the Northeast. While we continue to work with partners to coordinate aid deliveries, our Mobile Medical Unit has now returned to HQ after three weeks of service to New York residents affected by the Superstorm.
The MMU was already rolling before Sandy made landfall, and once it had arrived in Long Island, it was plugged into the overall relief effort, first being used at Red Cross shelters housing Southshore evacuees.
For a week and a half, volunteer doctors, nurses and medics made the MMU their office away from office, seeing dozens of patients for various ailments.
Then, once the shelters began to consolidate, the Unit was placed at a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Far Rockaway, Queens, the scene of much devastation, and for another week and a half was used by more medical personnel to treat area residents.
I asked some of the med staff and Heart to Heart volunteers to jot down some of their thoughts as they worked with HHI just days after the storm. A few excerpts follow.



There are so many people in need… Everything from newborn babies, sore throats, ordering meds for patients who need their prescriptions, narcotic withdrawal, staple removal, Coumadin level checks… just at the Manhasset shelter. I had scribbled on a piece of paper a list of meds I wanted, epi pen, Benadryl, Advil, Tylenol. The next morning I was told my van had arrived with my supplies. I walked outside expecting a box (I was so excited) and could not believe what I saw. It was the Heart to Heart Mobile Medical Unit! Two stretchers, portable monitors, EKG machine, a wall full of meds, a list of meds I wanted to order and they arrived the next day! THIS ORGANIZATION IS AMAZING!!! Stop by Manhasset High and check it out!!!
– Lisa Lynch, CRNA – Nassau Co Medical Reserve Corps


I am a volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps providing medical care for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Being able to volunteer my time has been such an incredible experience. Some of these people have lost everything and to be able to give them hope for the future is so rewarding. I am so thankful… Heart to Heart International is available for the community. I don’t know where these people would be without them.
The first day I was here we did not have the Heart to Heart International Mobile Medical Unit so we had to make due with what we had. I was able to see what a difference having the clinic made to the quality of medical care that the patients who needed our help received. The patients were now able to be supplied with medications and check up for those with Diabetes and Hypertension. We were able to give them the care that they deserve.
Jessica Stein PA-C, Family Practice and Pediatric Urgent Care

It has been a remarkable experience, and a great pleasure, to provide assistance to Long Island area residents affected by Sandy. I volunteer with Heart to Heart International and am part of the team that arrived… with the Mobil Medical Unit filled with medical supplies and care kits for those in need. The Red Cross medical teams that we have partnered with have been so grateful for the meds we had on board and immediately available; it was like watching little kids on Christmas morning when they first came aboard the MMU.
Helping these great volunteers utilize the MMU and serve so many in need in these first few days following the storm has been a real blessing for me. We have provided a unique place for the medical personnel to examine, treat and bring peace of mind to the residents of the shelter, and I am proud to say I was able to be a tiny part of that kindness.
– Phil Meiers, Heart to Heart International, volunteer MMU driver


On Monday October 29, Hurricane Sandy made landfall. Our community of Manhasset, New York was badly affected. On Tuesday the American Red Cross set up a shelter at our local high school. The shelter held 300 clients. The outpouring of relief help has been overwhelming! From the incredible staff at Heart to Heart – Dan, Warren, and Phil – who with their compassion, stamina and huge hearts made such a difference in the lives of so many.
We are all so blessed for what we have and for the generosity of so many angels.
– Kathleen, RN


Tears came to my eyes when I saw the enthusiastic energy of Heart to Heart International as they came rolling up with their level 2 trauma facility to this shelter. Clients didn’t want to go to an ER for treatment because they didn’t want to be separated from each other, after losing their homes and all their belongings, they were willing to risk having no medical care to stay with their families.

With Heart to Heart International, it was like, if the client wouldn’t go to the medical mountain the medical mountain came to them. As days went by I saw smiles come to theses beautiful displaced faces of our clients as they started to feel medically better and knew that there were people out there that truly cared about them. When the parents felt better – the children felt better and the energy of hope was resurrected.
Dan, Warren and Phil, with Heart to Heart, came from Kansas City to New York… and brought the gift of humanity, hope, caring and medical security… these guys are our angels. We could never have done what we did without them. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And may you forever be blessed with a trail of sunshine wherever you go!
– Dr. Valerie Mokides, pediatrician


Responding to Hurricane Sandy…

This is a quick post, to update everyone in the Heart to Heart world on what we’re doing in response to Hurricane Sandy.
The hurricane is over, but the storm continues to churn, affecting so many across a large part of this country.

Currently, supplies, volunteers and HHI staff are converging from three sides, to bring relief and medical aid to those in need along the Eastern Seaboard.

Our Program Director began driving south from New England, where she was attending a conference, as the storm was pounding the Mid-Atlantic.  She’s leading our relief efforts and happened to be near as Sandy threatened.

Yours truly flew to North Carolina to bypass the storm, and is now heading north. And surprisingly, it’s quite cold down here, windy too.  Shows how large of a footprint Sandy has.  Cold clouds still linger.
And volunteers with the Mobile Medical Unit left Kansas City as the storm raged, and is now crossing Pennsylvania after dealing with both rain and snow.

We are communicating with numerous folks involved in the relief effort in the region, from state-level to local partners, and are working with them to determine where Heart to Heart can do the most good upon arrival.

Look for more updates soon here, and on Facebook & Twitter.


Dispatch From Henryville, Indiana

Want to update everyone on the happenings with Heart to Heart International and our disaster response in Henryville, Indiana.

It’s Monday afternoon, three days since we arrived on site, three and a half days after the EF-4 tornado tore through this southern Indiana town, not too far north of Louisville, KY.

We had snow overnight, a couple of inches. Thick wet snow that blanketed these communities, softening the jagged wreckage of the town if only for a while. There is damage here, plenty of it.  I was asked by a television crew for Indiana Public Media how this disaster ranks compared to others.  I told them it doesn’t compare, not for the people who live here.  For them, this is the big one.  This is their Joplin, their Alabama, their Katrina. This is their Henryville. This is their Marysville.

We at Heart to Heart are honored to be part of the relief effort.  Our Mobile Medical Unit is serving as Henryville’s only first aid station, medical clinic and vaccine dispensary all rolled into one. A Nurse Practitioner and nurses from the Clark County Health Department are staffing our unit, treating residents for a variety of ailments.

What is helping tremendously are 400 doses of Tetanus vaccine HHI volunteers brought in Sunday afternoon.  The vaccine comes from the Joplin Community ClinicTalk about Paying It Forward!!

And we’ve also been delivering Care Kits and water to surrounding shelters and communities.

Your gifts and donations are supporting this.  Here’s how you can continue to help:

  • Make an online donation
  • Text “HEART” to 27722 to make a $10 donation on your mobile phone
  • Mail checks to Heart to Heart’s office

The volunteer spirit is alive and thriving in southern Indiana and you sense resilience in the air despite what has happened.