Frequent Questions

Have you ever had a question and didn’t know where to find the answer? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

This section is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our constituents. Just start by following one of the links below. If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. What does your organization do?

    Project Helping Hands sends teams of volunteers to provide medical care and health education for people in developing nations. The key to these teams' success is the commitment they bring to impact people in a life-changing, even life-saving way. Beyond treating illness, disease, trauma and providing care, the teams educate locals and village health care providers with a goal of seeing them become self-sufficient.

    Teams are composed of volunteers, both medical and non-medical, who are willing to commit two weeks of time to provide this medical care and education. Team members must apply to join one of the Project Helping Hands teams and, if selected to be a part of the team, are responsible for raising funds to pay for their trip as well as assist with the collection of needed medications and medical supplies.

    Each trip is unique. We cater to the sense of adventure as well as the desire to provide humanitarian medical care. Team members often find themselves travelling via land or boat to remote locations. Many teams will experience rugged conditions which may include hiking, boating, sleeping on floors, and staying in areas without electricity or running water. Opportunities to experience the culture of the people and enjoy the country are provided.

    PHH provides a safe environment where team members are well taken care of and the food is always good. In addition, volunteers explore parts of the world very few people see while interacting with locals in a way that’s not possible when travelling as a tourist. Another benefit is the bond that develops among team members and with locals that transcends language and borders.

    We currently deploy teams to eight different countries with a presence of about 300 volunteers annually.

    PHH founder, Jeff Solheim a registered nurse, says the mission statement is simple: “Our goal is to provide quality health care where there is none and develop locally operated clinics in these locations. We also strive to provide an unforgettable personal growth opportunity for the volunteer.”

  2. How do I volunteer for a Project Helping Hands Medical Team ?
    The first step is to review the teams that are currently available. You will find them listed on the "Home Page" of our website. As you begin to read about each of the volunteer opportunities you will discover that we offer a variety of experiences. These opportunities range from what we rate as "Mild" to "Extreme" teams.

    The "Extreme" teams are the ultimate in the area of "Adventure With Heart". Typically traveling teams do not stay in the same location each night, and offer very few amenities in regard to electricity, running water, showers etc... An example of an extreme team would be the "Jungle" teams that we offer in Bolivia. The areas reached by these types of teams will take you into regions of the world that are seen by very few people, and the need for assistance by residents of these areas are tremendous. This type of travel can include any number of modes of transportation! ie... Plane, Bus, 4wd Suv's, Boats, Rafts, Canoes, and of course your own two legs with a pack on your back! Here is a VIDEO LINK of a Bolivia Extreme team in action!

    A "Moderdate" team would not have such a high level/degree of travel and you typically stay several nights in the same location. An example of a Moderate level team would be our "Oyugis Kenya" teams. With the Oyugis trip the team stays in the same location each night and does have amenities such as electricity and running water where they stay. This team does have a high level of physical activity condisering that it is a three mile hike each to reach the clinic location each day. Here is a PHOTO LINK showing photos from a previous trip to Oyugis Kenya!

    A "Mild" level team typically stays at the same location each day and has minimal travel once they are at their destination. An example of a Mild team would be the "Kampala Uganda" team. This team stays at a very nice Hotel in Kampala and are transported each day to "Kawempe" which is a slum region on the outskirts of Kampala. The need is extreme for the residents of Kawempe and you will be very busy with clinical activities from the moment you arrive at the clinic site to the end of each day. This team typically treats upwards of 2,000 patients during their two week mission trip. Here is a PHOTO LINK showing photos from a previous trip to Kampala Uganda!

    Once you have made your decision on the "Level" of team that you wish to participate in, and the particular team that you wish to apply to you will need to complete our on-line volunteer application form and pay the $300.00 trip deposit fee.

    If selected the deposit is applied toward the total cost of your trip. If not selected you have three options.

    Donate the funds to the Project Helping Hands General Fund
    Apply the funds as a deposit toward another trip
    Request a refund
    Once you have submitted your application you will be contacted by a PHH staff person letting you know we have received it. Once the posted deadline for team applications has passed, the team leader will contact you and let you know whether or not you will be accepted to participate on that team. Volunteers chosen must be willing to provide a current medical license (health care providers only), provide basic health and medical information about themselves and sign/submit a medical consent form, and sign a trip participant consent form. Once you have been accepted to a team you are not eligible for a refund of the Deposit fee or any other payments that you have made toward the cost of your trip.

  3. We have a responsibility to our community and our donors and work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization. We make our IRS Form 990 available for review, as required by law. Visit our Financials page to learn more.

  4. Our organization takes our privacy policy seriously and takes steps to protect and ensure the safety of our supporters. We do not sell or otherwise disclose information about our volunteers or supporters outside of our immediate organization. This policy has no exceptions. We do not sell or exchange your information with any other organizations, public, private or nonprofit. For more detailed information visit our Privacy Policy page.

  5. What is the cancellation/refund policy in the event that I have to withdraw from a team?

    You are required to submit a $300.00 deposit when you apply for a team. This deposit is only refundable if you are not chosen as a team member for the team in which you applied. In the event that you are accepted to the team and you decide to withdraw from the team, the deposit is not refundable. You do have the option to transfer the deposit funds to another team within one year from the original deposit payment date.

    Once accepted for a team any/all funds paid toward your trip are non-refundable in the even that you decide to withdraw from the team. If the funds are un-encumbered at the time of withdraw (Meaning airline tickets are not yet purchased and in-country funds not yet distributed) you have the option to transfer funds to another trip/team within one year of your original team acceptance date. After that point in time the funds will roll into PHH general fund.

    Any and all funds that are applied to your account above and beyond your trip price will be applied toward your team's contingency fund. These overpayment funds can not be re-imbursed back to the team members.

  6. Is my donation secure?

    Absolutely. The security and confidentiality of your information is our highest priority. We use industry-standard SSL (secure socket layer) technology to protect your information and provide a safe and secure environment for online donations. We will not sell, trade or share your personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations, and we will only share personal information if you have given us specific permission to do so.

  7. What is Project Helping Hands Donation Policy?

    All donations to Project Helping Hands (“PHH”), unless otherwise indicated, are no-strings-attached charitable donations to be used to promote the efforts and activities of the organization at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors of PHH.

    Volunteers may apply to participate in medical and educational missions funded by Project Helping Hands. PHH uses volunteer donations to fund these missions. In the event that a volunteer mission is altered, interrupted or canceled for any reason, no refunds of donations will be made to volunteers. If such a situation occurs, PHH may, at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, apply any unused donations to future missions within one calendar year, but PHH will in no event be obligated to use donations for this purpose. PHH reserves the right to apply any unused donations to further the work of Project Helping Hands, as determined in the sole discretion of the Board of Directors.

  8. Is my donation tax-deductible?

    Project Helping Hands is a publicly supported organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and our Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is xx-xxxxx. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your donation receipt as your official record.

  9. Do I get a receipt?

    When you donate online, you will receive an automated notification of your donation.

    For individuals who travel on deployments with Project Helping Hands, we provide a cumulative receipt for all donations from the individual traveler as well as to those who donate to support a traveler after the end of their deployment.

    For Lifeblood donations, general donations, and any other donations we provide receipts at the end of the year for all donations received during that year.

    All receipts are sent to the email address associated with your donations.

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