Natural Disaster survivors find hope through All Hands and Hearts global response team. Relief from volunteers in purple shirts

All Hands and Hearts Dedicated Member,

Jess van Schalkwyk, Disaster Relief

What do you do when disaster strikes?

You’re all alone.  All hope seems diminished.

Petra Němcová of the Czech Republic hung on to a palm tree as the ocean tried to swallow her up in the 2004 Great Indian Ocean tsunami.  Her fiancé nowhere to be seen but her hope was that he would find something to cling to.  That was not to be. 

Petra walked away with injuries but she had her life.  The experience changed her and she dedicates her life to global communities and victims of natural disasters.  She began the Happy Hearts Fund which merged with David Campbell’s, All Hands Volunteers in 2017 creating All Hands and Hearts.

All Hands and Hearts is a global response team dispatched to natural disaster sites around the world. 

I live in South Africa and my background is in disaster management.

When a disaster hits we will monitor it online using social media to see what is being said by the country itself and by the people within that country. 

From there we will decide on whether or not we’re going to send in a team; our immediate response team.

We are there for the people who need us most.

It’s about getting to the problem as soon as possible but staying as long as they need us and making sure that the solutions we implement are going to involve long-term sustainability.

We rebuild schools.  Children need a place to learn and a place that is safe. It is all about the future and by providing that school we know that they have hope for a future.

We can’t control nature but we can control the actions that we take in a natural disaster. 

Come Early, Stay Late





Volunteer Michael, Florida

Jess, Puerto Rico

Volunteers sharing cultures


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  1. Liz Toelle on 03/31/2019 at 12:20 PM

    All Hands and Hearts – a great organization doing great things around the world. I really enjoyed your interview with Jess V S – I could listen to her talk all day. She is so passionate about what she is doing in her life. She is definitely leaving her positive imprint everywhere she goes.

    • Catherine on 04/01/2019 at 9:23 AM

      Thank you Liz! Jess is very passionate about her work and she’s wonderful at what she does because of her knowledge and compassion. I am so glad you are enjoying the show and hearing stories from our global community.

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