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  

I have witnessed the outstanding dedication of the staff and volunteers of HandReach. I have seen them give up vacation time to sit with, carry in their arms, and provide hours of emotional support to young people as they endure skin grafts, re-breaking of bones, and the painful process of adjusting prosthetic limbs. HandReach participants not only raise funds and team with world-class hospitals, but they literally give a hand up to poor children who would be relegated to a life of untold disability if HandReach did not exist. I am a proud contributor to this excellent non-profit organization that puts every penny and ounce of energy into helping burned and limbless children around the world. They give hope to trauma victims and proof that someone cares. I have seen this hope and love empower kids with the will to overcome limitations to become thriving, contributing members of society. God bless HandReach for making such a vital difference in the lives of vulnerable children!

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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

Was this review helpful? 
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

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Rating: 5 stars  

Exactly one year passed since I wrote my first great review of this fine organization. Through the last year I had the honor in witnessing the dedication of all involved and especially the hard work and sacrifice of Dr. Brecken Chinn to aid those in need. by focusing on burn survivors, HandReach is a pioneer in directing the world's attention to the tragic pain and suffering of millions around the world who are waiting for a helping hand, waiting for HandReach.

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

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Handreach is an organization founded by a great, courageous,loving woman, who sacrifices and strops at nothing to help and give those in need from the goodness of her heart, and for absolutely nothing in return, but the smile on the faces of those in pain. She is Dr. Brecken Chinn Swartz. An organization inspired by one of the most courageous young women on earth, Jolene Chinn Swartz, Brecken's adoptive Daughter, who despite her injuries, pain , and physical challenges was able to adapt to a new society, a new country, a new language, and become a happy successful college student, with bright future. I had the honor of knowing Brecken and Jolene personally, I admire their courage and spirit of giving, and urge all who read this to donate to this noble cause, and always believe that any donation to such cause is never money wasted, as God's reward to you will be much greater.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

Both the vision and application of Hand Reach are touching many in beautiful ways. For me it's a chance to help. For others to serve. Others to learn and share inspiration , creativity and hope. And for burn victims and their families and community it's a chance to heal and live against great odds.any thanks to Hand Reach and divert appreciating and encouragement to grow and thrive for many years to come

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

Find more ways to make it and its mission better known

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

A great organization with effective leadership, providing a unique (and very creative) mix of services to underserved populations. And they do it with a sense of fun.

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 am proud to be a in my fourth year of donating to Handreach, through a recurring subscription. I know that my money is being put to good use, that it reaches its intended beneficiaries, and that I can count on the organization to be good stewards of my donations.

Twenty (ahem, or more) years ago, I was a student in college, learning about the values of world citizenship and being caring and compassionate for those in need. The founders and administrators of this organization, one of whom was sitting beside me in those classes, exemplify the values I hold dear. They care for the most damaged of victims, and enable them to have meaningful and productive lives.

As a donor, I am confident in the use of my funds because I have regular, detailed, and meaningful communication with the organization. They demonstrate their accomplishment, and they make me aware of specific needs as they arise.

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

If pressed to make a change, I would seek to make the education and preventative standards so significant that there would be no need to care for victims whose accidents could have been prevented. Barring that, I dream that funding for the organization would be so plentiful that there would never been a doubt whether they could care for one more victim, one more damaged child in need.

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

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I became aware of HandReach when I reconnected with its Director, Brecken Chinn Schwartz, a college friend. I regularly support a number of humanitarian organizations, particularly those that focus on education and health needs for children. I am amazed at the amount of good work this organization is able to do with such limited funds, and I am amazed at the incredible dedication of their small army of volunteers.

Personal connection is the strongest motivator for ongoing support of international humanitarian work. Attention spans are short, and there are always new critical needs... sustained support requires ongoing contact. SmileTrain is extremely well-funded, and they are in constant contact with me... what have we done with your money, who have we helped, what was the outcome, and what can you do to expand your help? I would like to point more of my friends to HandReach.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the photos of successful reconstruction, being notified of dire scenarios requiring the assistance of my acquaintances and me, and seeing important work continue.

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

ask for more communication and material with which to solicit help.

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

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

I donated to help a particular burn victim, whose body was burned so badly that her skin fused and orifices were nearly sealed. After seeing the impact of my small donation, and seeing the ongoing need, I made a decision to give the organization money on a monthly basis.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

This important humanitarian work is less popular than other well-funded and well-publicized organizations. I am convinced that we have a responsibility in this world to help those who are less fortunate, both at home and abroad.

What would you tell others about this organization?

The funds are well-managed, they are focused on care for victims, and there is no shortage of children in need of help.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Handreach does amazing things for burn victims in China. When other agencies have written off victims as beyond hope, Handreach steps up to help. It is a wonderful organization that does amazing work focusing attention on those who have lost hope.

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?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Wonderful charity. I'm happy to contribute to a group that provides help to young burn victims. I've witnessed the results of the good works done by this charity; I've seen the new life this charity has given to those who were thought to be hopelessly scarred.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've witnessed the results of the good deeds done by this organization. I've seen burn victims begin life anew and face the world with hope and dreams of possibilities.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The person with whom I've had direct contact at this charity is truly an inspiration.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The person with whom I've had direct contact at this charity is truly an inspiration.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help many more people and do much more good.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

HandReach is unique in its mission and purpose which makes it a very valuable non-profit. I believe in the founder and her staff. I believe my money is not only going to a great cause but is being utilized to the fullest. HandReach gives severely burned children their lives back. What can be better than that?

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

At a fundraiser I met a child who was able to walk again on prosthetic legs and have heard of others whose lives have been changed through the work of this non-profit. Just amazing.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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