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All Hands And Hearts And The Work They Do To Rebuild Homes, Schools, And Communities

All Hands And Hearts And The Work They Do To Rebuild Homes, Schools, And Communities

All Hands and Hearts is a nonprofit organization formed in 2017 after a merger between All Hands Volunteers and Happy Hearts Fund. It addresses both the long-term and immediate needs of communities affected by natural disasters. The organization communicates directly with local leaders and community members to devise the most suitable disaster relief help.

The Massachusetts-based organization has a unique response model that involves using volunteers to build infrastructure, schools, and more resilient and safer homes. For instance, volunteers and experts help with water damage restoration. This method is effective, efficient and impacts the affected communities directly. Ultimately, it strengthens both the affected community and the volunteers.

History and Formation

All Hearts and Hands was formed in 2017 by David Campbell and Petra Nemcova. It all started during the Great Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004.

At the time of the Tsunami, David was on the verge of retirement. He traveled to Thailand with donations and determination to help. After the life-changing experience, All Hands Volunteers was formed. The disaster response and rebuild organization offered a platform for volunteers to provide hands-on assistance to natural disaster survivors in the US and abroad. All Hands Volunteers organization received a top 5-star rating from Greatnonprofits.org and GoOverseas.com. It also got a 4 star from Charity Navigator, the highest possible rating.

Petra Nemcova, on the other hand, is a supermodel, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She was a victim of the great Indian Ocean Tsunami and survived by clinging to a palm tree for eight hours. Although she survived miraculously, she lost her partner. This experience fueled her passion for helping and making a difference by constructing disaster-resilient homes and schools. She founded Happy Hearts Fund charity in 2005. Petra was involved in the organization’s daily operation, helping build about 171 schools in 10 countries.

David and Petra Nemcova met in Peru while working with their respective organizations. Initially, Happy Hearts Fund and All Hands Volunteers Worked together during the 2015 devastating earthquake in Nepal. The two organizations helped build disaster-resilient schools. The founders noticed they could achieve more with the two NGOs’ synergy. In 2017, the two organizations announced their merger, forming the All Hands and Hearts organization.

What they Do

All Hands and Hearts organization is committed to addressing long-term and immediate community needs efficiently and effectively. They respond to disasters quickly and rebuild homes and schools that are disaster resilient. This involves ensuring homes such that the homeowners can benefit from water damage insurance claim in case of disaster.

The NGO has a three-way model of responding to disasters: response, recovery, and renewal. In other words, they respond to areas hit by disasters and help clear debris, gutting and cucking. The team performs vital jobs such as plumbing and design-build services. They also get rid of mold and sanitize the building. More importantly, they engage the victims and compassionately help process their experience after the disaster.

After the response phase, which runs for the first few months, they enter the recovery phase. The recovery phase involves rebuilding homes and schools destroyed by the disasters. They then transit to insulation, installing drywall, siding, and carpentry. The good news is that the organization consists of expert builders, roofers, and plumbers. In essence, they energize the community by giving hope, thus eliminating the solemn feeling. The whole activities aim to renew the community. Eventually, they hold dinner for homeowners and host community events.

All Hands and Hearts Smart Response

The organization is all about creating change through actions. They help families recover fast from natural disasters using a smart response model that has been perfected over the years.

1. Response

All Hands and Hearts partners with local communities and volunteers to respond to natural disasters. They rebuild schools and homes after earthquakes and floods and demolish unsafe structures after a disaster. The organization listens to the local communities carefully to identify the greatest need. Then they create an actionable long-term plan executed with speed to solve problems in real-time. The organization undertakes projects on a design build services terms in order to ensure uniformity in their delivery.

2. Resilience

All Hands and Hearts uses expertise and experience to put pieces together. They help build stronger organizations after devastation by building disaster-resilient structures. The organization ensures buildings are more resilient and stronger to withstand future disasters.

3. Recovery

The organization provides a free platform for volunteers across the world to help. They transform the volunteers into a powerful team, including offering cutting-edge training. This means that the volunteers can perform in-demand tasks such as painting, siding services, and general construction tasks. Ultimately, they created a powerful team of dedicated volunteers who can positively impact areas affected by disasters.

4. Renewal

The volunteers live in the communities they serve. As a result, they discover new ways of providing assistance, which helps develop creative solutions. For instance, the projects include English tutoring in the Philippines, providing entrepreneurial sessions to secondary schools in Peru.

Areas of Operation

Since its inception, the All Hands and Hearts team has worked in numerous countries worldwide. For instance, they offered direct help after Hurricane Katrina. Also, they helped build a school in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. The organization’s goal is to offer long-term and effective help regardless of where the disaster strikes.

The Organization’s Programs

Bahamas Hurricane Dorian Relief

Hurricane Dorian made landfall in The Bahamas in September 2019. The category five hurricane with a speed of 185 mph was the strongest hurricane to hit the Bahamas. All Hands and Heart has been rebuilding schools before suspending the program due to the COVid 19 pandemic.

The organization plans to continue offering help through September 2021. They have constructed seven schools, including Central Abaco Primary school, St Francis de Sales, Every Child Counts. Besides building schools. In addition, the team continues to offer assistance at homes. For example, some response work includes mold sanitization, mucking, gutting, and debris removal. The Norwegian Cruise Line Holding has offered massive support to the organization’s program by helping them reach their initial funding.

Australia Bushfire Relief Program

In 2019, Australia experienced a series of bushfires due to prolonged drought and high temperatures. The fire disasters started in august through September, affecting new South Wales. In December, the fires affected western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria. In January 2020, the fire spread to Australia’s capital territory. The fire devastated over 27 million acres and destroyed more than 3000 homes. All Hands and Hearts’ Disaster Assessment Response Team performed an independent assessment and decided to focus effort on Kangaroo island. The Australian bushfire program has received a 500000 AUD grant from Jeffries.

Covid 19 Relief in Los Angeles

The COVID- 19 has continued to ravage the globe causing devastating effects. In Los Angeles, the virus has caused 14 641 deaths. The infection continues to spread fast in the community. All Hands and Hearts identified Los Angeles county as one of the areas in dire need of support. With local volunteer capacity already constrained, the organization moved in to offer the much-needed services. Specifically, they have worked with partners to boost local organizations’ capacity, CORE and LA Food Bank. The organization provides meals to families and orchestrates coronavirus tests.

Florida Hurricane Relief Program

On October 10, 2018, Mexico beach experienced one of the worst disasters. A category 5 Hurricane Michael with 160 mph wind speed slammed the beach. It was the strongest storm in the US since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The surrounding regions were devastated. For instance, Alabama, Carolina, Florida, and Virginia were thrown in total darkness while the Panhandle was destroyed beyond recognition.

All Hands and Hearts got into work with support from volunteers, donors, and partners. They involved the local community in-home repairs such as roof repair. The programs started in October 2020 and will go up to April 2021. The team has started mold sanitization, home repairs, mucking, and gutting.

Nepal Earthquake Relief

In 2015, Nepal experienced the worst earthquake in over 80 years. The earthquakes cause massive destruction of property. About 23000 people were injured, while 9000 people lost their lives. About 5000 schools were damaged. Here is the worst part. A month later, in May 2015, another earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 slammed the country, causing more deaths and property damage.
Since 2015, All Hands and Hearts have provided relief efforts impacting the lives of 22,000 people. For instance, the organization has constructed three schools Shree Janakalyan Ni Ma Vi School, Shree Manakamana Basic School, and Shree Thakureshowr Ni Ma Vi school. However, some of the programs have put on temporary suspension following the Covid 19 outbreak.

Besides building schools, All Hands and Hearts has funded an emergency quarantine center in Sidhauli. The impact of covid 19 had outweighed the current demand for services. Through close partnership with local partners and governments, the organization transformed a healthcare facility by increasing its capacity to cater for much-needed additional medical services. The organization is also fast-tracking government approval processes for health care construction.

Southeast Asia Typhoon Relief Program

2020 was a generally bad year for the whole world. In the Philippines and Vietnam, things were much worse. Five typhoons hit the two countries in October and November 2020. In October, Three storms hit the lower Mekong region causing landslides and flooding. The storms displaced about 100000 people in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and Laos. In the same month, the Philippines and Vietnam were hit by Typhoon Molave, causing a massive landfall. In November, Typhoon Vamco hit the Philippines, causing damage to 40000 homes.

Due to the covid 19 restriction, the All Hands and Hearts organization was not able to respond immediately. However, they have coordinated with the Philippines Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) to offer support immediately after the travel restrictions are eased.

Central American Hurricane Relief Program

Category 4 storms Hurricane Iota and Hurricane Eta caused devastating effects in central America in November 2020. Both storms caused massive landslides and flooding adversely affecting the lives of millions. All Hands and Hearts is assessing the impact of the disaster to organize an early and long-term response.

California Wildfires

California experienced the biggest fire season in its modern history. The fire consumed over 4.2 million acres damaging about 10000 structures. In fact, the wildfire resulted in a state of emergency and later a federal declaration in October 2020.
All Hands and Hearts project management exercises and volunteers come in handy to provide help. After an assessment by the Disaster assessment response team, the organization settled on a full-year program for vulnerable communities. The program mitigates, responds, and enhances recovery from the impact of the wildfires.

All Hands and Hearts Program Work

The All Hands and Hearts team works tirelessly to ensure the communities are operational again after a disaster. To be precise, the organization constructs schools in affected areas. Besides learning institutions, they establish community-based facilities like clinics and libraries. They also work with local organizations to assist homes affected by natural disasters.

Building Schools

The school building program aims to provide a safe learning environment that is resilient to disasters. The organization engages partners to help with new roofs and other building materials. If the catastrophe destroys a school completely, the students are placed in temporary learning centers.

Home Building

All Hands and Hearts aims to provide a safe living environment to people affected by disasters through home build programs. The team works tirelessly to ensure displaced homeowners return to their homes as soon as possible.

Mold Sanitation

Mold sanitizing involves using tools like dehumidifiers and moisture meters to get rid of mildew and mold. The process reduces moisture and humidity in a structure before rebuilding.

Debris Removal

Debris removal involves removing furniture, vegetation, and personal items destroyed or damaged by disasters.

Mucking and Gutting

Mucking involves removing silt and mud, while gutting involves removing construction debris like floorboards, drywall, cabinets, and paneling.

Renewal projects

Renewal Projects return a sense of normalcy in the community after a disaster. It involves restoring community elements and boosting their morals. To be precise, the renewal projects equip members with skills that help mitigate future disasters.

Final Words

All Hands and Hearts is a non-profit organization that aims to empower people through creative problem-solving. They design their solutions to fit the needs of communities most affected by disasters. Apart from responding to the immediate needs, they assist with long-term problem-solving. In simple terms, All Hands and Hearts rebuild and restore devastated communities. It strongly believes in individuals’ untapped talent and offers a free and open opportunity for all volunteers to make a difference. The non-profit organization also provides training opportunities to volunteer. In a nutshell, All Hand and Heart work to reconstruct and give hope to communities destroyed by disasters.

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