Healing the Children
Rev. Dennis Weezorak, Chair
This is one International Service opportunity that the District suggest for our Clubs. Healing the Children NJ travels to Ecuador to service the health needs of the children at the Homes of Hope village each year, bringing medical professionals and supplies for those in need.
Healing the Children® New Jersey is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides donated medical care to children in need in NJ and throughout the world. Founded in 1981, HTCNJ has cared for more than 31,000 children locally and globally.
More than 1,000 children from 88 countries have been brought to NJ to receive medical and surgical care they would not otherwise obtain. Volunteer host families welcome children in their homes for the duration of medical treatment. This time-frame ranges from several months to in excess of a year, depending on the care required. Hospitals statewide provide pro bono care, as do numerous surgeons and other medical practitioners. The charity utilizes off-duty airline personnel, “Airline Ambassadors”, who volunteer to escort a child traveling without a parent to and from New Jersey.
In 1988, HTCNJ embarked upon volunteer surgical trips, sending a medical team to Tamanzunchale, Mexico to provide impoverished children with plastic and reconstructive surgery. Areas of expertise include orthopedic, ophthalmology, urology, general pediatric surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and ear/nose/throat surgery. The charity has hosted more than 150 trips to Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Peru and Thailand. Trip participants donate their time and expertise and also purchase their own round-trip airline tickets. Pharmaceutical companies contribute medications and surgical equipment.
In 1992, HTCNJ launched its Domestic Aid program to assist NJ children with serious medical conditions and developmental disabilities whose families need support in meeting their children’s medical needs. Children are referred by hospital and school social workers, physicians, and Special Child Health Services departments in all 21 counties. HTCNJ helps by: purchasing prescription medication; providing eyeglasses, hearing aids, orthotics and other tangible equipment; funding specialized care, therapy and accessible summer camp for children with special needs.
For more information, visit www.htcnj.org