LAGUNA BEACH, California — Heart to Heart International is a nonprofit that works to improve global health by connecting people and resources directly to those in need. The core of Heart to Heart’s work lies in the vision that, one day, everyone—all over the world—will have access to a healthy life, and that communities worldwide will have the capacity to foster and support good health.
Each day, Heart to Heart International brings the world a step closer to making this vision a reality, with the help of a wide network of volunteers who share a common desire: to do more for other people.
Founded two decades ago by a team with this same spirit of volunteerism, Heart to Heart has grown into an international humanitarian NGO. With a specific focus on disaster relief, Heart to Heart works to make all necessary preparations so that—at the first sound of a siren—its team of volunteers and staff members can arrive where they’re needed, ready to help.
To make this possible, Heart to Heart’s Global Distribution Center, located at the organization’s headquarters in Olathe, Kansas, is continuously stockpiled with supplies and its Mobile Medical Unit is ready to be rolled out at a moment’s notice.
In addition to disaster relief, Heart to Heart works tirelessly to outfit international medical teams with the supplies they need for everyday healthcare. This particular area of the organization’s work significantly impacts global health by exponentially increasing healthcare’s accessibility worldwide. Qualifying organizations can order online custom-made kits of medical supplies or basic personal hygiene supplies for a small shipping fee.
Heart to Heart’s Ready Relief Box, which meets the organization’s highest-quality guidelines for distributing aid, remains consistent year-round, and contains readily available tools for improving health in developing countries worldwide.
Each Ready Relief Box contains OTC pain relievers, antibiotics, first-aid supplies and rehydration salts and a doctor’s bag among other crucial items. For $500, qualifying medical teams/organizations may receive up to $1500 worth of Ready Relief Boxes; enough supplies to treat up to 500 patients.
Working to address personal hygiene—the first line of defense against the spread of illness—Heart to Heart also supplies medical teams and organizations with Care Kits. Whether in the midst of a crisis or fulfilling the needs of daily life, Care Kits enable people to maintain good personal hygiene. Filled with necessary items such as toothbrushes, hand towels and soaps, these kits can be assembled and distributed quickly and right into the hands of people who have a dire need for these supplies.
Heart to Heart’s network of volunteers is able to make a difference all over the world in many different ways. Becoming a volunteer for Heart to Heart can mean assembling Care Kits (instructions are available on the organization’s website) by purchasing items at a local drugstore. Or, it can mean joining a medical team that travels to Haiti to work alongside Haitian doctors and nurses.
The organization also accepts monetary donations, which go directly to the organization’s efforts to bring supplies and people where they are needed most.
Communities in the world’s poorest developing countries suffer the most from health-related issues because they lack access to healthcare and medical supplies. By mobilizing countless volunteers and collecting and distributing much-needed medical supplies, Heart to Heart directly impacts those communities and people with the greatest need.
In the midst of a disaster or with the spread of the flu, Heart to Heart’s community of volunteers and seemingly endless survival kits are there for communities in need, wherever they may be located.
– Elizabeth Nutt
Sources: Heart to Heart, Gov.uk
Photo: Change by Doing