Heart to Heart adapts strategy to help multiple areas devastated - KCTV5

Heart to Heart adapts strategy to help multiple areas devastated by hurricanes

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File photo. (KCTV) File photo. (KCTV)
LENEXA, KS (KCTV) -

Heart to Heart is working on re-deploying resources to Houston and pre-positioning themselves in Florida.

They're also helping with hurricane relief efforts in Saint Martin and Haiti.

They said that means they need money for medical supplies and volunteers to help them make that transition.

From a Lenexa warehouse, Heart to Heart International assembles hygiene kits and coordinates medical aid for relief efforts all over the world. 

James Mitchum is CEO of Heart to Heart. He said the nonprofit has dealt with large-scale natural disasters before, but the combination of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma presents a different kind of challenge.

“What's new for us is fighting the disaster on three fronts,” Mitchum said.

Texas, Florida, and Saint Martin were all devastated by hurricanes within a few days of each other.

Mitchum said the storm damage and flooding creates a greater risk for injuries, contamination, and sickness. That's why Heart to Heart is re-deploying crews straight from Texas to Florida.

“All of our medical assets are in the Houston area,” he said. “It doesn't make sense to bring those to Kansas City. We're redistributing those to Florida.”

Heart to Heart is asking for financial support and volunteers to help put together relief packages.

Don Duryee is donating his time to drive a truck full of medical supplies and generators to Houston Crews.

“It's times like these that it's all hands on deck,” he said. “I'm retired. I have time to do this, so I volunteered.”

Mitchum said Heart to Heart will maintain its efforts in Texas while moving additional help to Florida, but it's a challenge Heart to Heart is embracing.

“It's difficult,” Mitchum said. “It's important to have that infrastructure in place to know what to do next.”

Heart to Heart will host pop-up volunteer opportunities at their warehouse on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and noon to 1 p.m.

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