The lives of co-founders David Campbell and Petra Nemcova were changed forever by the 2004 Thailand Tsunami.
David Campbell heard about the devastating tsunami and jumped on a plane to offer his extensive expertise gained as a former CEO of BBN Technologies, ultimately starting what is now All Hands Volunteers in 2005.
Petra Nemcova herself was swept away by the tsunami and survived by clinging to a tree for eight hours. This experience led to the establishment of the Happy Hearts Fund in 2005.
In the Fall of 2017, these two organizations announced the merger to form All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response. Together, we will focus on delivering a Smart Response to those reeling from disaster both domestically and internationally.
Response We immediately respond to communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging volunteers, partners and local communities to help families rebuild homes and schools by engaging in activities like “mucking and gutting” after a flood, “rubbling” after an earthquake, or safe demolition to remove dangerous structures. It starts with carefully listening to the community to identify their greatest needs and only then creating a long-term action plan executed with speed and real time problem solving.
Recovery Where needed, we make a long-term commitment and engage our trained volunteers to work with the community to rebuild disaster-resilient homes, schools, daycare facilities and community centers, the hubs of every community. By providing a free and open door for every volunteer around the globe, as well as cutting edge-training, we transform the good hearts and willing hands of our volunteers into a powerful team that can jump in and create immediate impact in disaster areas.
Resilience We bring our hard won expertise and experience to help communities put the pieces back together and rise even stronger in the face of devastation. By laying out and constructing disaster resilient buildings to code, we ensure they are stronger and more sustainable to weather future disasters which then preserves the future we are rebuilding for the community.
Renewal We live in the communities where we serve and become a part of them. And as we do, our volunteers uncover new ways to help, which invariably brings new ideas and creative solutions. We encourage our volunteers to follow through on these ideas where feasible. Projects have included everything from weekly movie nights for kids in Malawi, to weekly English tutoring sessions in the Philippines, to entrepreneurial and financial literacy classes for secondary school girls in Peru, and Thanksgiving dinners for hundreds of flood victims in Detroit.