Project Details

All Hands and Hearts is a non-profit organization helping survivors of Hurricane Harvey, and we need your help to rebuild home in disaster-affected communities!


All Hands and Hearts is a US-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities. Our vision is to demonstrate the power and value of volunteer service through the tangible work done, the hope it brings to suffering communities and the transformative experiences it provides for volunteers.

Our goal is to be the first to enter a disaster zone and the last to leave. We are committed to helping communities recover in the long term. After the headlines disappear and people stop talking about the disaster, we are still working to rebuild hope within the community for as long as we can. As a result, we have helped over 1 million people move back into their homes. 


We respond to natural disasters in three ways: response, recovery, and renewal. After a disaster hits a community, we respond by clearing debris, mucking and gutting homes, and sanitizing the homes from the mold. We meet with the homeowners to help them process how they are feeling after the storm, and we listen to the needs of the community to respond in a compassion-focused way.

After the first few months of a response, we then transition into recovery, which involves building the homes that were devastated by the storm. The tasks transition to painting, carpentry, installing drywall and insulation, and the final touch-up items needed to turn a house into a home. The energy of the community returns from its solemn feeling post-disaster to a feeling of high-energy and hope. 

During the entire process, we work to renew the community. We host community events, volunteer from within the community, invite our homeowners to dinner, and even teach English classes. We're here for the long run, and we want to be a part of the local community that we help.


Since our beginnings in 2005, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response has launched 76 programs from throughout the world. From responding directly after Hurricane Katrina to rebuilding schools in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake, our goal is to respond in an effective, long-term matter no matter where disaster strikes in the world.


All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response began as an organization called HandsOn Thailand, when our co-founder, David Campbell first witnessed the tsunamis in Thailand. As a businessman in the tech industry, he felt compelled to help, and created a website where interested volunteers could sign up to come to Thailand and volunteer. Before he knew it, hundreds of people began showing up, and we created HandsOn Thailand.

One year later following Hurricane Katrina, HandsOn traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi, following Hurricane Katrina. The town had received no help following the disaster, and we swept in to help rebuild homes following the disaster. In 2010, HandsOn USA became All Hands Volunteers.

Another chapter in our organization's journey began in October 2017 when All Hands Volunteers and Happy Hearts Fund, an organization working to rebuild schools after natural disasters, merged to become All Hands and Hearts. Now, with our combined strengths, resources, and passions, we're able to both rebuild homes and schools in disaster areas and restore hope in the communities we work in. Here's to the next chapter, and we want you to be a part of it!


We want to empower ordinary people with a desire to help. No construction experience is required - just an eagerness to work hard for a good cause! We'll teach you everything you need to know when you get to a program, and we'll equip you with a transformative volunteer experience when you return back to your local community.


We Are All About Creative Problem Solving

Every disaster brings unique challenges and affects people’s lives and their communities differently.  So All Hands and Hearts is all about nimble and creative problem solving, adaptability and ingenuity.  We discover the needs of those we serve on the ground and create and adapt our solutions to fit those needs, not the other way around.

We Focus on the Greatest Need

While there are almost always multiple communities heavily impacted by a natural disaster, the bulk of the relief efforts are usually focused in limited areas–often driven by media coverage. All Hands and Hearts, however, is deeply committed to seeking out the most under-served communities which are usually outside of the public eye. As a result, we are often the only organization serving in those communities where damage is as great as–or greater than–more publicized locations.

We Collaborate with Local, National, and International Partners

All Hands and Hearts is committed to rebuilding the communities that we serve in the smartest way possible, which means that:

  • We recognize that local organizations understand the needs of their communities better than we do.
  • We will not compete to help our neighbors. If another organization is better positioned to help, we will partner with them and support their efforts rather than duplicating them.
We Solve for the Long Term

All Hands and Hearts doesn’t just respond to the initial damage sustained from a natural disaster, we stay to help communities recover and rebuild. While some organizations stay just a few days following a disaster, All Hands and Hearts averages 148 days on a program.  And while other organizations rush to scale, we practice perseverance. As such, we keep our eye on the long term. Examples include:

  • Designing a rebuild plan with local experts that ensures that the materials used are easily accessible and replaceable in the event of another disaster.
  • Working with local officials to ensure that destroyed villages are rebuilt in safer areas.
  • Adding much needed facilities like evacuation centers in high risk areas.
We Rebuild Together with Local Homeowners and Community Members

A key objective for All Hands and Hearts is to work together with members of the community in order to rebuild confidence and hope in addition to much needed skills and job opportunities. To accomplish this important objective, we offer job training opportunities and certification programs to locals according to the needs of the community.

We Provide a Free and Open Door for Every Volunteer

All Hands and Hearts strongly believes in the untapped power of the individual when driven by a desire to make a difference. While some relief organizations utilize volunteers, more often than not they only engage pre-trained volunteers or those from their existing networks or memberships, while others charge a fee for volunteering. All Hands and Hearts takes a unique approach and accepts spontaneous volunteers from any background or faith, providing on-the-job training free of charge. This broadens our capability to help those in distress, offers a transformative experience to those who serve with us, and brings a wider pool of skills to the relief effort.

We Learn from Those We Serve

When all of this comes together, there is a truth that is consistently evident – in the process of responding, rebuilding, and renewing the communities that we serve, we are transformed by the resilience, hope, and strength we find in the hearts of the people we meet in the process.

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Contact Person
Julia Schemmer
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

As an organization, All Hands and Hearts welcomed 4, 331 volunteers in 2017, a 17% increase from 2016. 102 countries were represented. In 2017, we hosted 18 disaster response and recovery programs, and 28, 747 individuals and families now have a school or home to return back to after the natural disaster. In total, with our volunteers and beneficiaries, we impacted 33,078 people in 2017, and we continue to grow! 

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