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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Health, Hospitals, International, International Relief, Youth Development Programs

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.  

Target demographics: Children with burn injuries worldwide.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 125 children and countless others around them

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.

Community Stories

80 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience, as a student nurse from Northeastern University to be a part of this organization, has truly made me proud to be a future nurse. It was extremely rewarding to help these burn victims and see their progress over a four month period while I was in Beijing. It was so touching just to see a child walk after having third degree burns in her legs. It has inspired me so much to become a nurse and that I can help not only people in the United States but also help adults and kids around the world. The organization has provided so much help to these kids who need the proper care for their burns and I was very fortunate enough to be a part of this amazing organization.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a amazing organizations which beleives in making childrens life all they can be by providing special care. Children of china are able to live a full and respectfull life becaus of the organization.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

An incredible organization with a very important mission--helping children in need. Excellent leadership by Brecken Swartz, who has vision and persistence to reach her goals. Brecken puts her whole heart into her work and knows how to recruit the right people to complete the work that is needed. I am in awe of what she has accomplished in such a short time.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an Occupational Therapist, the goals of HandReach are consistent with the holistic way we approach our work. We both want children to be productive and happy members of society. HandReach not only provides the funding for medical expenses for these needy children, but also trained the therapists in China to better rehabilitate them following surgery which we know is the key to a good outcome. In addition, HandReach is looking for innovative ways to help the children such as making podcasts to train therapists and family members on positioning and splinting which are vital following surgery. Children are our future and can do amazing things in the midst of severe obstacles and HandReach gives them this chance.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a charity I have enjoyed watching grow from helping one child into helping support an entire hospital and network of assistance for children with burn injuries and resultant scarring. Handreach has the vision to continue to grow while maintaining an excellent foundation.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started working in HandReach about an year and a half ago. At the time, I organized a group of high school students to meet every weekend to plan and conduct activities for HandReach's charity purposes. This group eventually became the BeatBrigade, a team that utilizes music therapy and rhythm to promote community and healing. Since almost an year ago, the BeatBrigade has routinely gathered to rehearse and prepare for open drum circles. Some of the BeatBrigade members are now looking to go to the psychosocial camp in China this summer to initiate interactive drumming with patients in hospitals. Working in HandReach is both fun and rewarding. Everyone is very friendly and helpful, and shares the common goal of reaching out to help others who are in need of assistance. I greatly admire HandReach's objectives: to provide for those unfortunate a bread-and-butter staple of the American foundations -- the principle of equal opportunity, deeply rooted reverence for human life, and above all, happiness.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HandReach helps some of the most disadvantaged and most remotely situated of China's poor. Everyone thinks of China as a growing economic superpower, but there is still massive poverty and need among its people in the vast countryside. This organisation, which already punches above its weight and has the potential to do so much more, gets in among those people and their needs, which are considerable and yet little publicised by comparison with those of other disadvantaged parts of the world.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

True to its name, HandReach exists to reach out and hold the hands of children who suffer from debilitating injuries and bring them a better, normal and a happy life. I know of no other organization that works in such a challenging area, where the light at the end of the tunnel is so far away, but yet year after year continues to stay true to its founding principles and make a difference to the lives of kids who might not have survived if it weren't for the work done by HandReach.

12

Board Member

Rating: 5

HandReach strives to tackle one of the world's most pressing and intractable problems -- pediatric trauma injuries. The world's poorest children are at highest risk of burns and traumatic amputations, two of the very most complex and expensive conditions to treat. HandReach is committed to helping children, no matter how poor or how severe their injury, have access to full rehabilitation and a happy, productive life!