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Helping Heroes

All Hands and Hearts reminded us that when disaster hits, there are always heroes running toward the danger to help. They recruit and train teams of volunteers to respond to the immediate devastation of natural disasters, then work with communities to rebuild for the future. All Hands and Hearts delivers Smart Response, assistance aimed at short- and long-term challenges. They work with local organizations and residents on the most urgent needs first, like gutting flooded houses or safely demolishing earthquake-affected buildings. Once those crucial tasks are done, they shift their attention toward infrastructure—rebuilding schools, daycare facilities, and community centers so that they can better withstand future disasters. And by living in the areas they serve, volunteers find creative ways to renew the community’s spirit. They’ve hosted movie nights for kids, taught financial literacy classes, and made Thanksgiving dinners. All Hands and Hearts offers on-the-job training to anyone eager to make a difference. Their model gets efficient, effective to strengthen both the volunteer and the affected communities they serve.

All Hands and Hearts

Rebuilding communities after a natural disaster

Helping Heroes

All Hands and Hearts reminded us that when disaster hits, there are always heroes running toward the danger to help. They recruit and train teams of volunteers to respond to the immediate devastation of natural disasters, then work with communities to rebuild for the future. All Hands and Hearts delivers Smart Response, assistance aimed at short- and long-term challenges. They work with local organizations and residents on the most urgent needs first, like gutting flooded houses or safely demolishing earthquake-affected buildings. Once those crucial tasks are done, they shift their attention toward infrastructure—rebuilding schools, daycare facilities, and community centers so that they can better withstand future disasters. And by living in the areas they serve, volunteers find creative ways to renew the community’s spirit. They’ve hosted movie nights for kids, taught financial literacy classes, and made Thanksgiving dinners. All Hands and Hearts offers on-the-job training to anyone eager to make a difference. Their model gets efficient, effective to strengthen both the volunteer and the affected communities they serve.
Philanthropy

Quick Questions

One thing that really struck us about your work was the holistic vision you have when providing relief efforts. You get there early and stay late. Was that something you envisioned from the start or was it something that evolved over time?

During the early years of the organization, from 2005-2010, we focused only on immediate response, which consisted of about 3-6 months of work after a natural disaster. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the organization stayed on the island for over two years and built 20 schools. Since then, we have had a strong commitment to the long-term recovery of communities impacted by natural disasters, when appropriate.

How did your prior experience help prepare you for the role of leading an organization like this and what were some lessons you learned early on?

My 40+ years of business experience before founding a volunteer-based nonprofit organization included leadership roles at three different public companies, each with more than 1,000 staff members. This provided great awareness of the need for exceptional people, clear and open communications, thoughtful cashflow planning, and a sense of an enabling vision that could motivate teams of people to work together for a greater good.

You provide training to volunteers of all experience levels, how do you think that's given you an advantage in providing an immediate response?

Our immediate response efforts are initiated by experienced All Hands and Hearts staff, and the initial launch of any project consists of volunteers with prior project experience. This group is then able to absorb new volunteers and provide onsite training in the immediate tasks to be accomplished. Rather quickly, even new volunteers can become experts in disaster relief tasks, such as debris clearance.

What do you hope people reading this take away from your organization?

It's most easy to be impactful if you are making it possible for someone to do what they want to do. When I first saw the energy and creativity that comes from "Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers" (individuals who assist community members, typically after a large-scale disaster), I knew that it was a positive force that could be channeled to do good in the world. By providing the correct framework for engagement and having effective field management, tools, and transportation, we can quickly deploy a highly efficient and motivated surge capacity to help against immediate needs, benefitting communities impacted by natural disasters, the volunteers who donate their time and skills, and in turn, All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response.

Learn more about the product

 

All Hands and Hearts

Rebuilding communities after a natural disaster

Helping Heroes

All Hands and Hearts reminded us that when disaster hits, there are always heroes running toward the danger to help.

They recruit and train teams of volunteers to respond to the immediate devastation of natural disasters, then work with communities to rebuild for the future. All Hands and Hearts delivers Smart Response,
assistance aimed at short- and long-term challenges. They work with local organizations and residents on the most urgent needs first, like gutting flooded houses or safely demolishing earthquake-affected buildings.

Once those crucial tasks are done, they shift their attention toward infrastructure—rebuilding schools, daycare facilities, and community centers so that they can better withstand future disasters.

And by living in the areas they serve, volunteers find creative ways to renew the community’s spirit. They’ve hosted movie nights for kids, taught financial literacy classes, and made Thanksgiving dinners.

All Hands and Hearts offers on-the-job training to anyone eager to make a difference. Their model gets efficient, effective to strengthen both the volunteer and the affected communities they serve.
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Rebuilding communities after a natural disaster

Quick Questions

One thing that really struck us about your work was the holistic vision you have when providing relief efforts. You get there early and stay late. Was that something you envisioned from the start or was it something that evolved over time?

During the early years of the organization, from 2005-2010, we focused only on immediate response, which consisted of about 3-6 months of work after a natural disaster. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the organization stayed on the island for over two years and built 20 schools. Since then, we have had a strong commitment to the long-term recovery of communities impacted by natural disasters, when appropriate.

How did your prior experience help prepare you for the role of leading an organization like this and what were some lessons you learned early on?

My 40+ years of business experience before founding a volunteer-based nonprofit organization included leadership roles at three different public companies, each with more than 1,000 staff members. This provided great awareness of the need for exceptional people, clear and open communications, thoughtful cashflow planning, and a sense of an enabling vision that could motivate teams of people to work together for a greater good.

You provide training to volunteers of all experience levels, how do you think that's given you an advantage in providing an immediate response?

Our immediate response efforts are initiated by experienced All Hands and Hearts staff, and the initial launch of any project consists of volunteers with prior project experience. This group is then able to absorb new volunteers and provide onsite training in the immediate tasks to be accomplished. Rather quickly, even new volunteers can become experts in disaster relief tasks, such as debris clearance.

What do you hope people reading this take away from your organization?

It's most easy to be impactful if you are making it possible for someone to do what they want to do. When I first saw the energy and creativity that comes from "Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers" (individuals who assist community members, typically after a large-scale disaster), I knew that it was a positive force that could be channeled to do good in the world. By providing the correct framework for engagement and having effective field management, tools, and transportation, we can quickly deploy a highly efficient and motivated surge capacity to help against immediate needs, benefitting communities impacted by natural disasters, the volunteers who donate their time and skills, and in turn, All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response.

Learn more about the product