Eddie Meyer and Carolee Yancy are two of Heart to Heart International’s most dedicated volunteers. Eddie has been a volunteer for 11 years, Carolee for almost 4. They are full-time volunteers, with Eddie contributing 10,278 volunteer hours and Carolee contributing 4,824 volunteer hours over their entire time volunteering with Heart to Heart International.
Eddie and Carolee are a vital component to PowrServ, our hygiene kit program. Hygiene kits are a large part of Heart to Heart International’s disaster response efforts. They provide critical hygiene items to people in need after natural disasters or humanitarian crises. Usually hygiene kits are built at locations away from HHI HQ, sponsored by a company and built as a team-building activity for employees at sales conferences and annual meetings. When COVID-19 hit, Heart to Heart International had to change many of our practices for safety. It required thinking out of the box and developing new ways to do things that we’d always done certain ways. When sales conferences and annual meetings turned virtual, our regular avenues for kit builds disappeared, but, hygiene kits became more important than ever.
Eddie and Carolee stepped up so our hygiene kit building program would not have to stop. Working with guidance from the CDC, WHO and our in-house medical experts, we designed a new socially distanced hygiene kit building space in our HQ. Eddie and Carolee were an integral part of this new design, organizing teams of volunteers to build hygiene kits that would then be distributed across the U.S. and the world to help protect people from illness.
In 2020 alone, Eddie has volunteered more than 1,200 hours, and Carolee has logged 1,144 volunteer hours. Together, they coordinated the assembly of 109,673 hygiene kits in 2020. Thanks to the work of Eddie and Carolee to sort the individual items, fold towels and washcloths, count each kit, manage the other volunteers, and assemble these kits, 109,673 people have critical hygiene items and PPE (including masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes) that will help keep them safe during this time. These kits have been distributed in response to COVID-19; California wildfires; the Port of Beirut explosion; Jonesboro, Arkansas, tornado; Hurricane Laura; Hurricane Sally; Michigan flooding; Nashville tornado; and homeless and veterans’ outreaches.
The role that Eddie and Carolee play at Heart to Heart International cannot be overstated. “Eddie and Carolee are the backbone of Heart to Heart International’s hygiene kit program. Their selflessness, leadership and hard work has contributed to bringing physical comfort and hygiene to hundreds of thousands of people in need in the last 4 years,” said Brian Sink, Vice President of Operations, Heart to Heart International.