Volunteer Spotlight: Vickie Trott

Volunteers are important for ALL of the work that Heart to Heart International does, and they allow us to accomplish far more than we would otherwise.  Volunteers provide support and expertise that the staff may not have and reduce the number of staff hours needed to accomplish a task. 

Vickie Trott is an example of someone who volunteered for Heart to Heart International in a different role than some might imagine as a traditional “volunteer” role.

Vickie began volunteering in July 2021 when she joined the Applause committee as an admin/project manager. Her experience with coordinating events and project management was key in helping keep the planning organized for Applause, Heart to Heart International’s inaugural fundraising event.

“Vickie jumped right in and offered to keep minutes for our committee meetings,” said Steve Hower, Corporate Relations Director for Heart to Heart International. “That helped me focus on running the meetings and also helped keep all the committees to-do lists in sync. She also helped keep track of expenses and budget.”

She helped host  the VIP reception and has offered to help pull all the components together into one document with feedback and ideas for next year’s Applause event. 

“All of her efforts and those of the other volunteers on the committee are vital to help ensure that the event was a success,” he said.

Let’s hear from Vickie herself …

Q&A with Vickie Trott

Why did you start volunteering with Heart to Heart International?

I was originally looking for a volunteer opportunity that was working in a group of people such as building hygiene kits. When I went to the volunteer application there was an opening for administrative work which is what I did before I retired. This led to me working on the committee planning the Applause 2021 Gala. 

What do you like about volunteering? 

I learned in more detail about the work that Heart to Heart does in disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and COVID-19 vaccinations. 

What is it about the Heart to Heart International’s cause that is inspiring?

It is a non-political non-religious organization that offers aid to those who need it.

What do you tell your friends/family about Heart to Heart International?

 I was especially impressed by Heart to Heart’s coordination of vaccination clinic volunteers in area counties. I was a volunteer through the country but worked with a number of Heart to Heart recruited volunteers at a clinic. 

As someone who cares about equitable healthcare access, you may be wondering how you can help. Whether you are able to jump in to fill an urgent need, or looking for a way to use your specific talents, the first step towards making a difference is reaching out and having a conversation. Volunteer needs at Heart to Heart International will vary depending on the time of year and current needs at the organization. We would love the opportunity to talk with you about your interests and see how we can work together on the challenges on ensuring healthcare access in the U.S. and around the world. Find out more at hearttoheart.org/volunteer.

More Stories:

Volunteer Spotlight: Suzanne Franklin

How long have you been volunteering? 

Since I retired I have been an active volunteer for Heart to Heart International (HHI), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as a Research Assistant, a Greeter at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and I work in the phone rooms during the pledge drives for KCUR public radio and KWJC Classical KC Radio in Kansas City. Previously I volunteered for the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and the Johnson County  Arts and Heritage Center, both in Overland Park.  

Why did you start? 

Even before I was vaccinated I knew I wanted to help at the vaccination clinics. I applied to be a volunteer with HHI in time to start volunteering as soon as I was fully vaccinated. I divided my time between three different locations as a non-medical volunteer and was able to experience several different tasks in the clinics from helping people check in, helping them complete the paperwork, checking them out, and observing those in the waiting area after their vaccinations. Once the large clinics suspended operations, I was invited to help assemble Personal Hygiene Kits at the HHI warehouse in Olathe, KS and have tried to participate in that activity at least once a week (except when I was deployed to Las Vegas of course. I hope to get back at the warehouse soon).

What do you like about it?

I enjoy helping people, and I couldn’t think of a better way for me to help during the pandemic. I’ve had the opportunity to work with, and for, many wonderful people I otherwise never would have met. 

What is it about the Heart to Heart International’s cause that is inspiring?

There are many things about HHI that are inspiring. Their values can be summarized by remembering PEPSI – Passionate about creating a healthier world, Enterprisingand innovative in providing services, Partnerships which maximize their impact, Sustainability efforts which enable communities to more effectively respond to disasters in the future, and Inclusion to be sure all who want to improve or receive healthcare are able to do so. 

Their Mission and Values are in close alignment with my own, and they are extremely careful to maximize their finances and resources to ensure the majority of their money and resources are used to help people and not spent on overhead. In 2020 alone they responded to 16 disasters – hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and explosions – a 23% increase from 2019 and all during a global pandemic.

What do you tell your friends/family about Heart to Heart International?

In 1992 HHI was started by one man who saw a need and did something about it. Since that time HHI has positively impacted millions all over the world. You can do something locally to help globally. 

I encourage anyone who is interested in HHI to visit Home Page – Heart to Heart International

HHI Responding to Louisiana Floods

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Heart to Heart International has been busy shipping essential product and supplies to Louisiana, including our Hygiene Kits, thanks to your support.

Following reports from our Disaster Response Team, volunteer groups have been building Hygiene Kits at The Hub to help ease the stress & strain on residents. Torrential downpours across the state displaced 12,000 men, woman and children.  This is the largest disaster in 100 years for the state of Louisiana.

Under gift options designate Louisiana flood to support this crisis.

100% of your donation supports this response. 

Donate Now  Build Kits

 


Testimonials

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In the 25 years Laura and Dale have lived in their Central, Louisiana home, they had never experienced flooding like this. During Hurricane Katrina, they lost their roof and had flood waters up to their front stoop, but, otherwise, their house remained intact and their possessions undamaged. This year, Laura and Dale were not spared. The massive rainfall and flooding of the past few weeks showed them no mercy. Water flowed into their one­-story home, devastating everything in its path, and forcing the couple out. Staying in a shelter at night, Laura and Dale have begun the long cleanup process. While sorting through and emptying their home of the 25 years of accumulated possessions and memories, the couple is also battling the characteristic late summer heat and humidity of Louisiana.

Heart to Heart volunteers met Laura and Dale while delivering cleaning supplies, water and HHI­ provided care kits to them and other countless families like them throughout Louisiana. The Hygiene Kits provide much­ needed hygiene items, including toothbrushes, washcloths and soap to those affected by the floods. With bathtubs, sinks, and the entirety of people’s daily essentials ruined by the flood waters, the care kits are much needed and much appreciated. Having the ability to clean themselves allows people a sense of normalcy and optimism in the midst of cleaning up the devastation of their homes.

Laura and Dale are planning to repair and return to their home. They are attempting to salvage anything they possibly can, but the damage from more than 4 feet of water inside their house is staggering. However, for Laura and Dale, like many others, walking away from their home is not an option. They will continue sorting, working, and cleaning. Heart to Heart will continue providing help, supplies, and care kits to them and others like them. You see, walking away is simply not an option for us, either.

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Settled dirt on many cars showing the stark reality of how high the water was just a week ago.

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This is Alice, a strong willed women who made it out of the LA floods, but her home did not.  Below is a look into her neighborhood and what they have lost as a community in central Louisiana.

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 Sadly, this is just one of the towns out of many that were affected by flood waters and horrible damage.

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Convoy of Hope hands out Hygiene Kits in Baton Rouge, LA.

 


 

Thank You to these Valued Partners

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Thank You PowrServ Hygiene Kit Groups

The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

College Church of the Nazarene – Olathe, KS

DEMDACO

A.L. Huber General Contractor

Learn More about our PowrServ events!


Media & News

KMBC came out to The Hub yesterday to document DEMDACO’s Hygiene Kit build!

http://www.kmbc.com/9-can-help/heart-to-heart-international-helps-louisiana-flood-victims/41331426

First Images from HHI Advance Team in Nepal

Our Advance Team has reached Nepal and is already at work coordinating our Nepal Earthquake Relief response, preparing the way for our Medical Team which will arrive soon.

Advance Team 1

Because of the earthquake damage, internet communications are sporadic.  But our team was able to send back a few images of what it looks like on the ground in Nepal.

These pics are from the village of Kokona.  Dr. Gary Morsch tells us there were about 20 deaths from the earthquake here.  The village is essentially deserted, with those remaining sleeping outdoors due to the fear of more earthquakes.  There was another aftershock here, which our team felt.

Advance Team 2Passing by this alleyway, our team learned that five people had perished in the collapse of this home.

 

Advance Team 3Dr. Morsch explains the photo above: “Delivering rice to a village where we saw so much destruction.  The man in the Scout uniform is the village leader, and he asked for our medical team to come tomorrow.  That means Sue and me, until the full medical team arrives!”

Our medical team – two doctors, three nurses and a paramedic – are scheduled to arrive Friday in Nepal.

Please support our Nepal Earthquake Relief response.

Donate Now

Advance Team Departs for Nepal

Our advance team is on the way to Nepal.  They will lay the groundwork for our medical team to arrive two days later, ready to provide aid to the survivors of the Nepal Earthquake.

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Our Advance Team is a three-person team – a doctor, a nurse and another HHI staff member.  All three are departing from different points on the globe.  In these photos, Dr. Gary Morsch, founder of HHI, is seen departing from the Kansas City airport.  The team’s nurse, Sue Mangicaro, is leaving from New Jersey.  And Julie Hefner, just recently our Liberia country director, is flying out of Monrovia, Liberia – all three bound for Kathmandu, and the earthquake disaster zone.

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As he was departing from Kansas City, HHI’s hometown and HQ location, Dr. Morsch had the honor of hauling giant bags of supplies to check in for the flight, beyond his own personal gear.  This ‘luggage’ contains medical supplies, medicine and quite a bit of work and camping equipment – tents, sleeping bags and mats, gloves, water filtration and satellite phones – gear needed for a team to operate in a disaster zone.

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Our medical team is made up of two doctors and four nurses.  They are packing right now and will arrive two days behind the advance team, ready to hit the ground and begin providing medical care to earthquake survivors.

You can help with Nepal Earthquake Relief.  Please give as you can.

Donate Now

 

photos by Peggy Breit & KMBC-TV9

One ‘Ripple Effect’ Winner Revealed

Heart to Heart International has teamed up with Welch Allyn to encourage medical students to give back to their communities. With the Ripple Effect contest, two more medical students can now make their own ripple effect with a humanitarian service trip to Haiti.

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Matthew Schilling is presented with a ‘boarding pass’ by David Allyn of Welch Allyn, and Steve Hower of HHI, after being named a winner of the Ripple Effect contest. Photo by erietvnews.com

 

Matthew Schilling, a first-year medical student at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, was announced as one of two winners of the 2014 Ripple Effect Contest, a joint initiative of Heart to Heart International and Welch Allyn designed to inspire medical students to “change the world by giving back to their communities.”

This summer, Schilling and a yet-to-be-revealed student, along with student winners from the 2013 Ripple Effect contest will work alongside Heart to Heart medical teams in Haiti.

The Ripple Effect Contest encourages medical students to use social media to share how they will create their own “ripple effect” of good in their community or globally. Entrants were asked to ‘like’ the Ripple Effect program page on Facebook and share a picture with a short essay or a short video showcasing their “ripple effect” — a brief narrative about how they would “change the world” by using their training to help those in greatest need.

The second winner will be announced March 17, 2015.

 

 

Building a Healthy Future in Haiti

A joint project between Heart to Heart International and BD continues to make a positive impact in Haiti, in part by providing training for healthcare workers in communities across the country.
What follows is a guest post from a member of the most recent BD Volunteer Service Team recently returned from Haiti.

stephanieHeart to Heart International continues to build an empowered and healthy Haiti through its training programs to address basic human needs

By Sushmita Bandopadhyay, BD VST member

“I want my community to be saved from malaria. I am the only one in my family who has stepped forward to fight it. My parents are happy that I am able to help Ayiti,” says Stephanie (pictured above), a community health agent who got involved in this year’s healthcare worker training in Thiotte, Haiti.

There are a number of young people like Stephanie who are committed to improving basic healthcare situation in Haiti. They walk miles to attend training on water, sanitation, hygiene and infectious diseases that will be exercised to address the community health challenges. After the training, she will now be able to do temperature and blood pressure checks for her community.

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The healthcare worker training was conducted by BD volunteers in Thiotte and in Belle Anse. Doctor OP Kansal, a BD volunteer, trained the participants on safe child delivery techniques in resource-limited settings. The group also went through a simulation exercise to better understand the concept.  As compared to last year’s training, this year’s curriculum distinctly included the WASH program that will help the community health agents greatly.  A staff member of HHI agreed that this training conducted by volunteers is very appropriate in this time when cholera seems to be prevalent in parts of Haiti, and added that the training manuals are a great reference for the health workers.

For some months now, HHI has been working on Kore Fanmi ­- a pilot program of the Haitian Government, funded by The World Bank in partnership with UNICEF, that intends to improve the provision of basic services to poor and vulnerable families in Haiti.  Several young and old people have been chosen to be a part of this movement who are undergoing training for Kore Fanmi.  Each trainer is responsible for a hundred families and makes regular visits to ensure family needs are understood and addressed well. Trainings and awareness workshops are being conducted across parts of the country and HHI is now working in Belle Anse in its second phase of the project.  Says John, a Kore Fanmi agent who attended the five-day workshop, “This year’s training has increased my knowledge and I feel I can contribute towards a healthier life in Haiti.”

Dr. OP

Over the years, such trainings have taught quality improvement methods to help communities manage the problems with confidence. For example, people are now eager to apply the cholera trainings and make progress. Health agents express an interest in attending such trainings which help them make a real change in the environment. Empowered with more knowledge and regular trainings, the community health care workers are daring to dream now. “My dream for Haiti is that every home has a ‘latrine’. I want to contribute towards this dream for my country,” says Andre, a participant with a twinkle in his eye.

These types of training programs and awareness workshops remain critical and are aiding communities in Haiti to live a better quality of life.

Advance Team in Liberia on Front Lines of Ebola Fight

The HHI Advance Team arrived in Liberia and is already hard at work – meeting with partners, touring facilities and getting a lay of the land – prepping the way for the deployment of volunteer medical teams to provide care for the people of Liberia.

Advance Team & James

The team is being assisted by James Williams (striped shirt in photo above), the acting director of Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia, a Liberian non-profit that develops community-based healthcare programs.  James is helping to serve as a guide for our Advance Team.  A great connection!

Team member Sue Mangicaro, RN, from HHI’s corporate partner Welch Allyn, reports they heard both good and bad news when they met with representatives of Medical Teams International.  The good: MTI is in the process of training community healthcare workers on prevention and treatment of Ebola, however the bad is that they have had to pull their staff out of clinics because of the inherent risks involved in triage and contracting the disease.  The real fear of Ebola is causing the healthcare system to collapse, as HHI CEO Jim Mitchum recently discussed in an op-ed.

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A clinic closed in Monrovia, Liberia due to the Ebola outbreak.

 

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Pictured above is one of many handwashing stations the team has come across in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia.  They reported the smell of bleach hangs in the air, a comforting aroma, as bleach is used to kill the Ebola virus on surfaces, protective equipment and on skin.

Look for more updates from the Advance Team in Liberia soon!

 

Donate now to sustain OPERATION EBOLA and help save lives in West Africa.

Donate Now!

 

 

 

 

 

A New CEO for Heart to Heart International

Jim Mitchum #1Heart to Heart International Inc. (HHI), one of America’s leading humanitarian organizations, is pleased to announce the hiring of Jim Mitchum as its new Chief Executive Officer.

A Kansas City resident, Mitchum most recently served as the President of the Americas for EUSA Pharma in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

“It will be an honor to lead and to help grow this inspiring organization at a time when natural disasters and the need for humanitarian assistance occur so frequently,” said Mitchum.

Mitchum has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical world, having held President, CEO and other senior-level executive positions for companies in the US and internationally.

Learn more about Jim Mitchum’s executive background

“Jim rose to the top,” said Bob Lambrechts, HHI board member and search committee chair, “due to a number of factors including his pharmaceutical industry experience, his international business acumen, and a long-standing personal philosophy that matches with Heart to Heart International.”

Mitchum takes the helm at Heart to Heart International on September 2, 2014.

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