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Nonprofit Overview

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


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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am new to HandReach within the past year, and the group' mission - serving severly traumatized children - is one of the most rigteous and courageous of any non-profit Ihave ever known. t is a spiritually rewarding experience to be involved with this group!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I would like to help this org. by voting and expressing my interest on what this org does. It is important to help people help others. I wish the org. much luck.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am 62 years old and totally and permanently disbled primarily from a car accident my entire family was in when I was 12 years old. I have known Brecken Chinn Schwartz for nearly 6 years and love her wonderful open heart, brilliant mind and dedication to making this world a better place in which to live for as many people as she possibly can. The car accident my family and I suffered changed our lives totally in seconds, so it is very easy for me to relate to the devasting changes in people's lives that burn accidents can bring to any one at any time. I am also all too aware of how expensive medical treatment can be. Our family was also very poor in material ways, as are many of the children HandReach is helping. The good thing is that I know how extremely precious the love and support of others can be both to the giver and the receipient. HandReach gives me an opportunity to really help others, who have also suffered devasting injuries in the blink of an eye. I am the oldest of nine children. We were all in the car when another vehicle smashed into us head-on. My father's heart and lungs were punctured by the steering wheel. He died instantly. My mother was in critical condition for 3 and a half days and no one expected her to live. Eventually, I was healed sufficiently to go and visit my little brother and baby sister in the ward for younger children. In a nearby bed there was a 5 year old boy under a partial tent of light blankets. His mother was there most of the time keep him company. The lower half of his body had suffered third degree burns which were completely visible at all times under the open tent. I would visit them too because they were lonely with no other visitors. Back then the treatment was not very helpful it seemed, but prayers and company and a loving smile were much appeciated. Then, as now, that was all I could provide. By sharing the good news about all that HandReach is doing for children who have suffered devasting burns like my young friend did so many years ago, I too can help in a small way with the fund raising effort. Brecken has shared some of the stories of their young patience and asked for prayer support also, which I am more than happy to give. When I have more resources, I will share them. I urge everyone to give all they can to this wonderful healing effort.