HANDREACH

Rating: 4.96 stars   67 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Health, International

Location: 105 Grant Avenue Newton MA 02459 USA

Mission:

The world''s poorest children are at highest risk of the world''s most expensive injuries -- burns and amputations. These sudden, life-changing trauma injuries can happen in a second without warning but require a lifetime of support. The world has ample resources in the form of medical care, rehabilitation therapy, and psychosocial support for trauma survivors, but it is not getting to the children who need it most. HandReach is working to bring together the best hands in the world to promote healing, rehabilitation, and the full development of human potential among the world''s poorest and most badly-injured children.

HandReach works at three levels:

1) Individuals: We facilitate the sharing of best practices across countries and institutions by educating clinicians, therapists, parents, and healers of all kinds. We also work to bring acute, reconstructive, and psychosocial care to children who are in great need of surgery or rehabilitation therapy that their families cannot possibly afford.

2) Institutions: We facilitate international clinics, sponsor training, develop technological resources, and arrange for the donation of needed equipment and supplies so that institutions can maximize their ability to treat complex injuries and promote full rehabilitation for children, regardless of income. 

3) Society: We advocate for the needs of the poor to promote greater access to medical care, education, safer products, building materials, and work practices, and a place in society that includes greater access and acceptance for people with physical differences.

We are working to develop a free international database of best practices in pediatric burn care and orthopedic rehabilitation that allows doctors and therapists to consult across the world on cases. This online resource database will be readily translatable into any language and provide short, detailed videos that address various aspects of excellent burn and orthopedic care -- from skin grafting to splinting to prosthetics to psychological support for children and families. 

 If a child is burned in China, for instance, her doctor can provide details about the case, consult live expert clinicians internationally, and be directed to easily downloadable videos in Chinese to share with staff and the patient''s family. HandReach''s work would then be to spread the word of this database and foster face-to-face contact between clinics worldwide. HandReach''s dream is for there to be nowhere in the world a child can be injured that is out of reach of excellent medical care and psychosocial support.  

Results: http://lauramadden.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/minghe-video-for-handreach/
Target demographics: Children with burn injuries worldwide.
Geographic areas served: Entire planet, especially developing countries. (Working on model program in China currently)
Programs:   The HandReach Beat Brigade seeks to empower local youth through healing modalities such as drumming, rehabilitation therapy, and leadership development through assisting child trauma survivors locally and abroad. The Beat Brigade’s purpose is to offer training and experience for local youth to travel internationally to train teams in developing countries who work with pediatric trauma patients, particularly those with major burn injuries and amputations.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

HandReach is one of the best examples you'll ever come across of how small really is beautiful. The number of kids and others it has helped and continues to help, and the extent of the difference it has made in their lives, are out of all proportion to its size. From its remarkable Exec.Director Brecken Chinn to its most occasional of helpers, everyone associated with HandReach puts their shoulders to the wheel in the most extraordinary way. HandReach is the very definition of a great non-profit.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering for Hand Reach since 2010! Hand Reach is more than just drumming. I'm a Medical Sociology major and Hand Reach is a community! And a beautiful one at that! Reaching out to trauma survivors, of every kind, but especially burn survivors, Hand Reach restores the confidence and brings beauty out with every beat of the drum, every beat of the heart. So grateful to volunteer for such a GREAT Nonprofit! :)

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Handreach provides healing in more ways than one; physical, emotional, spiritual. Handreach is a loving, supportive community. To give back to burn survivors, renewing their self-confidence is something that's immeasurable. I am so proud to be a volunteer of Handreach for 3 years.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Hand Reach is like coming home! This inclusive organization, founded by Dr. Brecken Chinn Swartz, "reaches" out to burn victims (and others) and gives them dignity, empowerment, an outlet of healing, connection and community. Health related organization are so important, because you don't feel so alone in your situation. Please volunteer with HandReach and you'll help in more ways than you know.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am very lucky to have met and worked with the HandReach team this summer as a volunteer! This is truly an incredible organization comprised of compassionate and dedicated people who genuinely want to help in whatever ways they can to support the physical and emotional recovery of these children. I was able to observe the team as they shared their expertise on burn contracture management with the Chinese physical therapists, and I got to see the smiles of the kids as they painted huge colorful murals with the HandReach team in between their therapy sessions! It was clear how much happiness the HandReach team brought these kids, and how receptive the hospital staff were to learning everything they could from the team.

Personally, HandReach has also helped me clarify my career goals and has nurtured my passion for caring for those afflicted with burn injuries. Coming straight from a 6 month work experience on a Burn/Trauma Unit in Boston, the 2 month experience on a pediatric burn unit in Beijing that HandReach assisted me in setting up enabled me to compare healthcare systems, determinants, and barriers as well as burn care techniques, which I feel has already made me a better nurse. I realized on this trip the vital role that organizations like HandReach has in providing experiential learning especially for aspiring healthcare professionals. The opportunity to observe care practices in a different country is invaluable, because it offers countless opportunities to not only learn, but also share experiences in a mutually beneficial partnership in which resources, education, and clinical work can be shared. Easily one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life. I came back from this trip inspired by the knowledge I had gained, touched by the children I met, and very excited to share all that I had experienced with my co-workers in the burn unit, my friends, and classmates. I honestly learned more than I ever expected to learn from the HandReach team, the hospital staff, the children, and their families, and only hope now that I will someday be able to pay it forward.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I teach drumming in therapeutic setting with Handreach's BeatBrigade. Most impressivee is the vision and energy of it's director Brecken Schwartz. Under her leadership, the organization continues to do it's important work to brighten prospects for burn survivors and other traumatized people. I recently participated in the therapeutic drumming at the Springfield Shriners annual fundraising event and it was inspiring. On a monthly basis, I facilitate BeatBrigade's drum circle for people interested to learn more about drumming as a healing modality.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more money to hire support staff.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered with HandReach during their last outreach to Beijing in June of 2013. Even expecting to have a great experience didn't prepare me for how much of an impact this organization and these children would make in my life. I look forward to many years of further involvement with HandReach!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I started volunteering at HandReach since its inception. HandReach has done tremendously in helping children not only recover but also gain independence from trauma. I am especially grateful of what HandReach has done to help amputated children during China's earthquake in 2008 rehabilitate and regain confidence in life . HandReach's work has played an critical role to raise our awareness to the oftentimes marginalized groups in China, the amputated children in China.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I came to know about the work of HandReach through talking to the director, Brecken Chinn. I was impressed with the dedication I saw in her and her team of volunteers who achieve so much with so little by way of resources.

I was so impressed with the work they do, I have volunteered to help with managing their operations, as that is what I do professionally for a living. I am excited to be able to make a difference in the lives of pediatric burn victims in China and other third-world countries.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

See it grow to its full potential, with full-time dedicated staff eventually.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Handreach focuses on a group often forgotten, children with severe burns in China. This is a group that should be taken care of by their government, but often are not. Thankfully Handreach is there to help.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've become familiar with HandReach by being personally involved in their Beat Brigade therapeutic drumming group which takes drumming into hospitals and other locations where it can serve as a great social and sonic therapy for burn victims or patient/trauma populations of any sort (and it's good for 'healthy' people too!) But I've also learned a lot about the organization's work in China and bringing burn victims to the US for treatment, and it's path-breaking approach to one of the most pressing and most ignored medical needs in the developing world. Simply in basic mathematical terms of human suffering that can and should be addressed, Hand Reach deserves your support and deserves to grow into a huge movement and organization that can network and bring resources to heal burn and trauma vicitims who otherwise will suffer terribly and needlessly.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grow it as fast as possible - the need is URGENT!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I was involved with Handreach a few years ago and it has done so much and changes so many people's lives.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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