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.
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.
Settled dirt on many cars showing the stark reality of how high the water was just a week ago.
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.
Sadly, this is just one of the towns out of many that were affected by flood waters and horrible damage.
Convoy of Hope hands out Hygiene Kits in Baton Rouge, LA.
Thank You to these Valued Partners
Thank You PowrServ Hygiene Kit Groups
Learn More about our PowrServ events!
Media & News
KMBC came out to The Hub yesterday to document DEMDACO’s Hygiene Kit build!
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.
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.
Dr. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
photos by Peggy Breit & KMBC-TV9
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.
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.
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.
Heart 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heart 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.
One of those stories that will always stay with me is the story of the woman in the photo. We met her while our HHI medical team was providing patient care in make-shift clinics after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda tore through the Philippines in November of 2013.
It was now weeks after the typhoon and there was still nothing but destruction as far as the eye could see. The medical system in the area, like everything else, was devastated by the category 5 typhoon and the 30-foot storm surge that came with it. It’s why we were there. As part of our typhoon relief operations, we had recruited volunteer doctors and nurses to provide care to people whose world had been wiped away. By the time our ground operations had ended, these intrepid volunteers had seen more than 3,000 patients across the central Philippines.
On Day 40 after the typhoon struck, we were working in another barangay (neighborhood) of Tacloban. Another day of hot, humid, tropical conditions. A woman in her mid-60’s came to us. Her blood pressure was astronomically high and she was in immediate danger of stroke or a heart attack. Back home, she would have been admitted to a hospital right then and there on an emergency basis. However, we weren’t in the US and we were the only medical care available.
We gave the woman a dose of hypertensive medication and asked her to wait please, to make sure there were no adverse affects and to see how she responded. She could barely sit still. She was agitated and just kept repeating that she had to leave. She eventually did walk away, medicine for a month in hand, off down the beach.
After she left we found out why she was in such a hurry. A pastor, helping to serve as a translator, told us the woman’s five year old grandson had been swept away in the typhoon’s storm surge six weeks ago. Since then, the woman had been spending everyday, all day, combing the beach and the wreckage looking for him. That’s why she was in such a hurry to leave our little make-shift clinic. She had to go find her grandson.
One of those stories that just stays with you.
It’s time to lace up your running shoes for the third annual 5K Trail Run for Haiti! This cross-country style trail run raises money to support our work in Haiti. Run or walk just more than three miles and you will be making a positive impact for the people of Haiti.
The 5K Trail Run for Haiti meanders through the woods and fields of a park in southern Johnson County, KS. It’s summertime, so prepare for a warm, muggy morning run.
WHEN: Saturday, July 12, 2014
WHAT TIME: Race begins a t 7:30AM
WHERE: Lone Elm Park (map) in Olathe, Kansas
HOW MUCH TO ENTER: $25 – Adults; $20 – Children 13 & under
Learn more about the run/walk and sign up for the 5K Trail Run for Haiti.