The work this organization does is extraordinary! A true humanitarian effort, getting straight to the issues and concerns of pediatric burn victims. I am also very happy with the global perspective being taken, leveraging expertise gained to broaden the mission to other continents. Fantastic!
I know the Executive Director Brecken Chinn and several of the members on the board. I have seen personally the dedication with which they work and the emotional commitment to the people they serve. Their commitment to help burn survivors in countries which have few to nonexistent facilities for burn survivors is really outstanding and inspiring. I will continue to support this non profit in any way I can and encourage anyone reading this to do the same!
Handreach has gone out of its way to help those in need. When I say need, I should clarify: Handreach reaches out to those in the most desperate of need in the harshest of places. I am a burn survivor who was once in need of assistance with my graduate work. Handreach offered me the opportunity to go to Beijing, China and assist burn survivors learn more about themselves. As it turns out, I wasn't in much need of help at all. I learned that many, MANY of the homeless individuals in Beijing were themselves burn survivors who were unable to find employment due to facial scars or physical infirmity. Handreach's goal is to reach out to these survivors and offer them a second chance to find work, to live, to learn, and to become whole again. The Executive Director, Dr. Brecken Chinn, personally gave me the opportunity to see Chinese burn survivors up close. I was able to assist some of those same survivors to understand that their lives were not at an end, and that they could be successful and happy. I'd like to think that I may have saved a few lives in the process, with an opportunity that only Handreach was able to offer. Furthermore, Handreach also raises funds specifically to help burn survivors (especially pediatric patients) with their surgeries, rehabilitation, and prosthetic limbs. I cannot think of another organization that has truly tried to reach so far, yet which struggles so much to raise funds and further help fulfill it's mission to make sure that best practices in pediatric burn and amputee care and rehabilitation are available around the world, where they are needed most.
I met the Director, Dr. Brecken Swartz, in 2011 and started working with Handreach shortly thereafter. Their work in foreign countries is truly admirable and their idealism and optimism is difficult to beat. Handreach raised the funds to create a Pediatric burn ward in China, which is still one of the top burn wards in that country. The work they do reaching out to some of the world's most in need individuals amazes me and makes me proud to have been able to help out. In fact, I was able to visit the China General Air Force hospital's burn ward in 2012 and see many of the patients that they treated. And though it is a place of suffering (as hospitals tend to be), it was also a place of hope, where the children (and some adults as well) were able to receive help and assistance that they never though would be possible. Burns are a terrible trauma to have to suffer - the short term physical pain leads to long term emotional, social, and economic pain - but these individuals might have otherwise not been treated at all. Being able to use a new technique to give an individual the use of his arms back was the pride of my trip, which would not have been possible without Handreach's help and support.
I only wish I could help more.
I have known about HandReach for only a few months, but those few months have made a huge difference in my life! I am a volunteer with HandReach, working with both the BeatBrigade and community outreach. I know the Executive Director, Brecken Chinn, personally. I have met all of the board members and Jolene Swartz, the first burn survivor helped by HandReach. Every person involved has incredible dedication, passion, and compassion! They make excellent use of the small amount of resources they have to work with, including donor funds, volunteers, and medical technology. Their mission is truly inspiring because they know any person can become a burn survivor. They know that getting burned should not mean one stops being treated with compassion, no matter where you live! They match people's good intentions with resources that help every burn survivor, medically, psychologically, and socially. The BeatBrigade lifts the spirits of every person involved, because no matter how badly you have been burned, no matter where you have been burned, you can still experience the joy of drumming within a supportive community. The medical teams at Shriner's hospitals restore a burn survivor's face and body while the BeatBrigade and countless volunteers restore a burn survivor's hope. The strength of spirit demonstrated by burn survivors is truly astonishing!
I have been a very committed volunteer for HandReach since 2009. The reason is only one: we help those children with terrible injuries and trauma, and they had no place to go.
The smiles on their faces are priceless!
Please keep up the good work and please continue to support Handreach, where your love and care is only a tiny hand away!
Dr. Li Li, DPT, PT
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!
I am a burn survisor and serve as a board member. I watched HandReach to grew and develop since of 2006. I was the first burn survisor to be helped by Handreach. After my accident, I did not receive good care and my life was filled with emptiess with no future. At Shriner's Hospital, I recieved the best care and with many people's help along the way, I am able to be who I am and stand where I am. One day, I told my mom, "I wish people could recieve the same care as me." In the last few years, I have involved in shaping HandReach's direction and have been to China few times with the HandReach team. Watch HandReach sponsor every kid, I am so happy and excited for them. Because the bright future awiats for them.
My name is Hang and I am a university student. Last year I took a year off to volunteer in Beijing as part of the HandReach Team! I was able to marvel, FIRST HAND, at the love filled contributions HandReach makes for the children in the Burn Rehabilitation Unit at the Hospital I was placed at (both medical and psychological). It lightens my heart to know that because of HandReach, I had the honor of being a part of those kids' worlds during such a prominent part of their lives. HandReach is based on the solid foundation of selfless love and kindness, and this is why i know HandReach will continue to influence with world with its goals, and why I look forward to being part of the HandReach Team for years and years to come!
I am so moved by the profound heart and dedication of HandReach and it's volunteers. They touch and transform the lives of so many who would otherwise be discarded and disenfranchised. HandReach not only facilitates extensive medical treatment and access to functional prosthetics, but goes much further in the psychological aspects of healing from extensive trauma, inspiring the human spirit through art and music therapy. As a trauma specialist, I am quite impressed with the tenacity and impact of this organization!
HandReach is an organization that cares and believes in the fullest level of heart and expectations for people with disabilities. It is an organization that believes in healing for all -- and for fighting for the rights that go with being a person with a disability in this world. I know the Founder of HandReach personally and know her dedication and commitment to this work. I have known some of the other volunteers and those committed to the future of this organization. As a disability rights professional, I look forward to working more with HandReach to continue to move it forward in its mission and expand it's literal reach and impact on so many levels. It is truly a Great Nonprofit.
HandReach is a fabulous organization working to support so many! Their leadership is unsurpassed in that of their Director Brecken Chinn Swartz. I am especially impressed by how a small organization such as HandReach works to both support individuals on the ground but also the more collective vision of disability rights via their support of the disability treaty (aka the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities (CRPD)).