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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Shared Beat

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Public Health

Mission: Assisting underserved Guatemalan children to advance their education through improved health.

Target demographics: Impoverished children and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 7500 people

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: Medical Scholarships Vitamin Vision

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with Shared Beat for over a year now and hope to continue doing so. The Board and staff are extremely supportive and kind. The Program that they have built at Safe Passage is incredible

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat organization lives up to its name, with us sharing our medical background with the children of Guatemala and them sharing their beautiful smiles and mannerisms with us. It has been a great joy for me and a very heartwarming experience on the past 3 trips with this great organization. I look forward to my next trip and the satisfaction of being a fortunate healthcare provider that may impact a child for the rest of their life.

1 Mark143

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been blessed to be a part of the Shard Beat team in Guatemala over the past 5 years. One can not describe in words how gracious and appreciative the Guatemalan people are for receiving some of the most basic health care we take for granted in the U.S. The personal rewards are tremendous and so gratifying that I would encourage anyone or everyone to explore the opportunities offered by Shared Beat in Guatemala. Regardless of age, education, or ability to speak Spanish - Shared Beat finds ways to utilize every volunteers strengths to make it an exceptional experience. My hat (and money) goes to this organization and the students, children, families and communities they serve in Guatemala!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been a great pleasure being a part of this organization year after year. This past July was my 10th trip down and I can't wait to go on ten more! I will forever be thankful to Jenny and Wright for their devotion towards "my people". As a Guatemalan native, I know how much the country yearns for medical care, or any care, a that, and thanks to them there is a light of hope for the people .
Aside from being given medicine, people learn about health and hygiene, and some are even given the gift of sight with a simple pair of reading glasses.
Shared Beat has won the hearts of the communities they care for and I am so proud to be a part of it. I

1 Steve117

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have volunteered with Shared Beat the last 4 summers in Guatemala. The organization is exceptionally well run, plans well, respects our time and volunteer efforts - challenges us beyond our comfort zone and gives us the opportunity to serve those in need which in turn becomes a blessing to us.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with several medical non profit groups for 15 years. From what I have experienced, the most successful integrate into the community they serve, involve locals in their efforts, encourage and support local talent to higher education so they return and serve their community, and recognize the culture they're their to help without imposing the culture they come from. Sounds like sustainability! Shared Beat certainly knows the meaning of this concept, in their work with Safe Passage (Camino Seguro) in Guatemala. As a volunteer and Board member for 5 years, I've seen first hand how this principle gets applied. Assisting Camino Seguro, we've watched kids from the Guatemala City dump get healthy and stay healthy, get a decent education, go into secondary education, receive nursing scholarships from Shared Beat, and come back to their community. Moms receive health education and are taught to read, and are supported in developing businesses they can call their own. Shared Beat practices a form of volunteerism that serves as a model for how do it effectively, and actually does, in a real wa,y change peoples lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat is an exemplary non-profit organization. While the biannual medical missions to Guatemala are applaudable, the focus of sustainability is what I was really impressed with. While volunteering, I met two of the scholarship students Shared Beat was putting through school. They were bright and determined pre-med and pre-nursing students whose lives had been changed by Shared Beat's support. In turn, these budding nurses and doctors will change lives in their community. The volunteers were all hard working and dedicated to making an impact on every community we visited. I am looking forward to working with this team again in the future.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Shared Beat for over 7 years. It has been a pleasure to see them grow with support from friends and families. The cause is for Medical Treatment,medical supplies and Education for children in these villages in Guadamala.
The Board members actualy donate their own time and money to travel there for weeks at at time to provide treatment and support, all on their own dime !
I am proud to be a part of this wonderful group of caring people , who selflessly devote countless hours throughout the year planning the Shared Beat Crawfish Boil to help raise monies to support this foundation.
In April of each year, they put together a silent auction, live auction,live music and huge eats and drinks spread that won't disappoint you. All of this is very tasty done and first class.
I hope that Mary and I will also be traveling with them next year and using our hands and hearts to provide healing and support of anything needed from us.
If you ever wanted to be part of something or a true charity, where all money goes to the cause and not administration, CEO's ect. Then this is where you need to do it.
The satisfaction of seeing the results are far beyond expectation !
I am honored to be able to support them and Blessed to have been part of something that has became a part of my life.
Lastly, To all the staff,volunteers,sponcers,supporters, donators , May God Bless your Family and keep them safe and rich in life's journeys to help all of our brothers and sisters near and far.
Sincerely ,
Michael Stratis

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Shared Beat this summer was an amazing experience. The whole week was planned to a T, everyone had schedules with the wheres and whens so everything flowed smoothly. With that stress taken off of us volunteers, we were able to throw our entire concentration and energy into what we were doing. Helping some impoverished communities in Guatemala was extremely rewarding. Seeing an instant and direct impact on those peoples' lives was a very powerful thing. The goal of Shared Beat is sustainability, and has become a consistent source of care for these people. Shared Beat reliably goes down every 6 months to continue the care they provided on previous visits. I am proud to have been a part of this group and will gladly go again.

2 Wright H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to serve on the Board of Shared Beat and more especially participate actively in its mission of service in Guatemala. Since the inception, prevention of disease and improved nutrition have been supported by its programs. Partnering to provide the medical support for educational non-profits has created real synergism: Safe Passage, People for Guatemala, Vamos Adelante, and Planting Seeds. Shared Beat has successfully seen the graduation of healthcare students thru its scholarship support and has provided funds for the treatment of acute illness among students and their families when the need has arisen. Shared Beat volunteers have provided service for 46,000 plus hours and direct medical care to over 13,000 patient contacts since its inception. It is an incredible organization.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Shared Beat since its inception has had a vision to create sustainability and continuity in its programs. In the past 6 years, by supporting an ongoing educational project adjacent the GUatemala City Dump area with provision of on-site healthcare, vision care, de-worming, and vitamins we move closer to making life a little better. Supporting a full-time school nurse and a part-time physician when we are not physically present and providing health scholarships in that area as well as more rural areas, Shared Beat has been and continues to be an endeavor of hope and changes lives forever. I've personnaly cared for a 5 day old to a 92 year old. I've had the privelege of provided counseling to hundreds of diabetics, hypertensive patients, pregnant mohers, school physicals, and was able to provide the needed medications. At my side worked some of the Guatemalan scholarship recipients who will in the future fill the roles of doctor or nurse.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat is a remarkable non-profit. Founders of the organization saw an unmet need and developed this remarkable program with intelligence and heart. The programs Shared Beat have instituted in the poorest section of Guatemala City have changed lives. The future of hundreds of children is brighter because Shared Beat is attending to their health, building a better foundation for a life of hope and promise.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat provides medical care and health education to the poorest of the poor in Guatemala with compassion and respect. Working with Shared Beat was witnessing love in action. Every action taken by the group demonstrates a deep committment to better the well-being of the people they serve. Shared Beat is empowering the community. One of the ways they do this is by providing nursing scholarships to women in the community. Once these ladies complete their education they come back home to provide care for their neighbors. I have been extremely impressed with Shared Beat's dedication to their mission and resolve to improve the lives of others. It's an incredible organization!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat has become a strong and reliable source of medical care to several communities within Guatemala. The vision program, vitamin program, and the medical program have served the community consistently over the past 7 years. Additionally, having the opportunity to provide scholarship funds to the students that study in the medical field gives hope for a permanent change to the entire community. Shared Beat dreams with the people of Guatemala of a future that has hope, health and promise. I am blessed to be a part of an organization with vision of a better future.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Shared Beat is providing medical care to the impoverished people of Guatemala. We partner with education reinforcement centers to improve the health of the students through health education, physical exams, medications, vitamins, and vision screening. We are committed to developing means for the community to have increased access to care. Our scholarship program allows the students to pursue study medicine and related health professions. Preventative medicine is also provided to the surrounding community. It is rewarding to return to the same communities twice yearly and watch the overall health improve each time we visit.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have spent 3.5 years collaborating with Shared Beat and their outstanding director Jenny Hartsell as the Outreach and Communications Coordinator for Safe Passage where Shared Beat provides healthcare for over 550 at-risk children, their families and the community around the Guatemala City garbage dump. Shared Beat has been an outstanding partner, providing life-saving expertise and healthcare resources that help Safe Passage excel in education. The Shared Beat medical teams always provide an enormous boost for the clinic and local staff. I highly recommend supporting this outstanding organization.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shared Beat provides medical, ophthalmology , physical therapy, dental and physical therapy care to the poorest of the poor - the dump families in Guatemala City and the poor families in rural towns surrounding the capital. The providers are all volunteers and heavily committed to the cause in terms of time and effort spent serving these populations.
The hours include long days and planning nights, but the good done is very significant in terms of well care, acute medical care, provision of glasses and dental prophylaxis ... and the gratitude from the patients/recipients is palpable.
It is nice to do good deeds for these under served populations and to feel good about the accomplishments! My volunteer time in Guatemala was most rewarding!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

i started as volunteer on a trip to Guatemala with Shared Beat. I was really impressed with the impact that Shared Beat has on the health of the children at Safe Passage (Camino Segura) because of its vitamin and preventative health program. As a physician, I was amazed that the general health, and especially the dental health, of the children in the program was better than many of the children that I see in the US. Shared Beat also positively impacts their parents through an adult literacy program.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am amazed by Wright and Jenny Hartsell's dedication and leadership in expanding the services available from Shared Beat. The main premise of Shared Beat is to help people become self-sufficient through education and better health care for themselves and others. The leadership by Jenny as Executive Director is resilient and creative. Her passion for humanity is admirable. Wright's involvement as a physician is genuine when it comes to providing excellent healthcare. The Board of Directors of Shared Beat is a diverse group, each individual bringing a unique set of skills to the table. It is my honor to be involved with this group.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Watching Shared Beat mature as an organization has been gratifying to me. Not only does Shared Beat has highly skilled medical professionals, the leadership has recognized the value of strategic planning sessions, sound financial planning and organizational structure. This will help ensure its continued stability toward serving the medical, health and education needs of people that need a helping hand in and near the city dump of Guatemala.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat is a wonderful organization to work with. Its leaders are completely dedicated to its cause and work to make sure its goals are carried out effectively. The trips themselves go efficiently and are well planned out so valuable time is never wasted. Patients and volunteers are treated with the utmost respect, and when volunteering, one cannot help but feel that there is hope for a better, more compassionate future.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My expierence as a volunteer with Shared Beat has been truly amazing for many different reasons. The organization is led by a group of people that have the ability to make it easy and comfortable for volunteers to fit in, feel productive and come away knowing a difference was made in a child's life. The programs Shared Beat supports at Safe Passage have paved the way for children to rise up from poverty through education. The daily nutrition and vitamin programs keep the children focused on their schoolwork and able to reach their dreams. You can see in their faces that they know someone cares about their future! That recognition and the beautiful smiles on their faces makes me proud to continue volunteering with Shared Beat. In fact, we are headed back in a couple of weeks!

2 Jinny B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat is an extraordinary organization characterized by wise, compassionate and dedicated leadership. I have worked as a volunteer pediatrician in a variety of international health settings over the last 20 years and find Shared Beat to provide the most thoughtful and comprehensive approach to health care support and delivery in an underserved setting that I have witnessed. The organization has a deep commitment to providing longitudinal care with community involvement and leadership. To that end, the group raises funds to support a full-time Guatemalan nurse at the school clinic with additional support from a Guatemalan pediatrician. The state-side volunteers arrive several times a year in a supportive role only. Communication regarding clinical needs is maintained between Guatemalan staff and the Shared Beat leadership between the visit intervals. Additionally, Shared Beat provides scholarship funds for those students graduating from the Safe Passage school who are interested in pursuing health care careers. These students, who have grown up in the abject poverty of the Guatemala city dump, are encouraged and supported to pursue their goals of service back to the community. The Shared Beat group achieves amazing continuity of care through a medical record system and work with a comprehensive team of partners. This is an exemplary organization with a long record of high level service and wonderful vision and heart.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization was initiated out love, compassion and dignity. It serves the neediest of needy in Guatamala. It provides a school for pre-school children, school aged children and young adults, reading and writing workshops for the adults. They provide medical well checks twice a year, and on-going intervention as needed. Our volunteer base come fron all walks of live, for the improvement of the health, education, and basic human rights for those that are undeserved in their country. Our commitment to oversee a community of people to enrich their lives, and break the cycle of poverty, malnutrition, inability to have an education, medical care, and the touch of humanity to better the lives of people of such need. To see the light in a child's eye once provided with the means to better hygeine, nutrition, education, medical care and the most sincerest of love and compasion is breath taking. To provide the workshops for reading and writing for our adults is changing a cycle to the betterment of mankind. One great-grandmother who is filled with dignity to read the bibleas opposed tro finding someone to read for her, leaves you speechless. Overall the dedication of volunteers and our most intelligent and resourceful board members keep this project in operation. To give to the most needy of the earth is what humanity is. In return, the gift it gives us, is most precious to our soul. Sonia B.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer on at four trips to Guatemala. Shared beat's efforts to provide health and wellness care for the poorest of he poor is amazing. The committment of the Board members to the mission is incredible. Not only do we serve the children at safe Passage, but our outreach to the communities allows us to touch and be touch by guatemalans who are without access to basic services. Participating with Shared Beat has changed my life. The experience puts life in perspective.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mayan people who work the dump in Guatemala City, though small in stature are big in heart, accepting of their plight in life, gracious and friendly beyond belief given their living conditions. We had the joy of giving new sight to many for whom we crafted prescription eye glasses from special equipment designed for use in third world countries.
We came away with a renewed appreciation of how blessed we are, how raw and cruel life is for so many, how critical it is for us to share from our abundance and blessings and how very small are our problems and concerns compared to theirs. It was the kind of place and people where Jesus would be today and we need to be there with them and for them and so many others like them worldwide.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer, I was able to see first hand how shared beat helps people who can't always help themselves or don't have access to help. It gives one a satisfying sense of accomplishment while volunteering for shared beat to help someone and watch their face light up, even if it means just providing them with the correct pair of glasses that allows them to read again. Shared beat is a great organization with great intentions that definitely makes me proud to be a volunteer for them.

1 Kim_29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family is getting ready to volunteer for our second time with Shared Beat. This group does amazing work through healthcare and education. If you can, go! It is an experience you will never forget. You will fall in the love with the Guatemalan people and make a great difference in their lives.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Over the past 6 yearsShared Beat has been providing healthcare to children and their families in Guatemala. Shared Beat is a group of kind and caring people who want to do the best with available resources, create sustainability and support education through health. All volunteers pay their way onoutreach trips, the board members are all volunteer, administrative overhead is less than 5% ... If you are looking for a genuinely caring nonprofit to support, volunteer for, talk about with your friends... look no further.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was one of the health teachers at Safe Passage, an organization in Guatemala City helping at-risk children and families. Shared Beat has supported our entire health program, from a clinic within the facility, to providing eye-glasses for those in need, to supporting a health education program focused on basic health and hygiene, violence prevention, and sex-ed. As the health teacher, I was exposed to all the health problems the kids and parents had, and through the help of Shared Beat, these constituents of SP were able to have access to high-quality health care, which they normally would not have, as well as health education classes to help them make informed decisions to lead to healthier lives. GO SHARED BEAT!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a general pediatrician with an interest in the health of children in developing countries. I have volunteered previously with other medical teams in Honduras. While those were also good experiences, I felt those previous trips mostly benefited ME. Those were vacations, and were meaningful, but when I left, I knew that there would be a gap of months before another team arrived. Hardly a comprehensive medical program.Not so with Shared Beat. This program has more sustainability than any I have ever seen. Basically, the children at Camino Segura have a pretty comprehensive health care program. There are nurses in place year round, a Guatemalan doctor who works one or two afternoons a week. We swoop in, en masse, twice a year to do physicals (twice a year on those under five years of age and once a year on older kids), provide medicine for worms, vitamins, medicines needed chronically, such as inhalers. This is an intensive intervention for the children whose parents are scavengers in the city dump. WE also travel to outlying communities, such as San Miguel to do some evaluations, in cooperation with other NGOs and the community health worker. It is evident that there is a huge diffierence in the health, hygiene and well being of those in the school, who have a more comprehensive system, and those in hthe outlying community. How amazing that the children who come from such a disadvantaged background that it is hard to imagine are taking advantage of the opportunity to go to college.Antoher really nice perk is that we say in a relaxing hotel in Antigua, which is a lovely tourist town about 30 miles away. So after a hard days work, you can come home to a pleasant coutyard and amazing food. The coordinators have been to Guatemala City in excess of twenty tmes, and are great at getting everthing organized so that we make great use of our time, and have a good time too.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shared Beat is an amazing organization!!! They provide so much quality medical attention and health education to students and families in Guatemala. Without a doubt one of the most empowering organizations that I have been able to cooperate with.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been to Guatemala on three mission trips and found that it is an amazing opportunity to help children and families whose living comes from scavenging in the city dump.

In the clinic at Camino Segura - Safe Passage - the children are evaluated by physicians and nurses and other volunteers to make sure they are healthy, have good vision and are making good choices.

What a satisfying feeling to help those who are so needy!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2006, I spent 3 months volunteering in Guatemala with a program called Camino Seguro. The program works with families, primarily the children, that live in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump Community. I loved my time there and I was adamant about returning one day.

A close friend had volunteered with Shared Beat several times and encouraged me to go with her because she knows how much I care about Camino Seguro. Shared Beat goes to Camino Seguro as a medical team to provide health care to the participants of Camino Seguro. This past February, I was finally able to volunteer with Shared Beat. Of course, it was incredibly exciting for me to see many of the same children with whom I'd worked 5 years earlier. But Shared Beat offered me so much more than a reunion with Camino Seguro. As an interpreter for the medical providers, I had the opportunity to be part of a team that provided high quality, compassionate care to a very underserved community. We began the week of volunteering by seeing all the children that go to Camino Seguro. Then we began to see their parents and eventually, the clinic's doors were opened to the larger community. We also went to rural town, San Miguel, and delivered health care services there. I was astounded by the number of people we served - I believe it was around a thousand. Despite the large volume of patients seen, the doctors and nurses took their time with each patient to ensure they received proper medical attention.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Maria told us that she had tripped and fallen a few weeks ago. As she held her stomach and looked down, she confided that she hadn't felt the baby move ever since. She hadn't been to see an OBGYN. She lied down on our make-shift exam table, and with some gel and a hand-held Doppler, the Shared Beat physician easily located a rapid little heartbeat. As she realized what she was hearing, happy tears started streaming steadily from the corners of her eyes. As she sat up, she didn't even say anything for me to interpret; she just jumped down and gave us both a big hug. This is just one of my favorite clinic moments that i've recapped with the group over tortillas and guacamole one night; there are many more...and many more to come!

I really don't like giving money to charities. I feel that sometimes the money just doesn't get to where it really needs to go fast enough. I am skeptical. I don't like taking people's word; I prefer to see things with my own eyes before i can recommend it to anyone, and so that is what i have done.

I had heard of this non-profit, Shared Beat, through a friend that had spent some time in Guatemala. I didn't know anyone on the trip and really didn't know what i was getting myself into at the time. Volunteering in Central America was something that I had always wanted to do to improve my Spanish. One of those ideas that floats around in the back of your mind since college... i just never before made the effort or time to make it a reality. I'm so glad that i finally made the time.

The one-week medical mission trips with Shared Beat are convenient for volunteers that work full-time. Although we have a busy week of clinic, it somehow still feels like a vacation. The trips are always well organized starting Sunday-Sunday in February or July. The weather is always a lot warmer than New England weather. The volunteers are a mix of old and new volunteers, and always so friendly, helpful, and eager to step in where needed. It is one mission trip where knowing Spanish is not mandatory (although it surely is helpful.) The patients couldn't be more appreciative that we come to them. Each mission trip the children appear to be more healthy physically-- and as plotted in their growth chart. It's a great feeling to play a small part in such progress.

A week with Shared Beat will change you. From then on you will take that experience with you wherever your travels may take you. You will apply that experience to new situations, see things from a different perspective, and understand people better. But don't just take my word for it, you'll have to see it for yourself.