The mission of Hearts, Hands & Smiles Foundation is to bring volunteers and organizations together to help the impoverished people of Latin America.
We come together, and make an even greater impact on the lives of those who have so little.
We involve the locals every step of the way. We provide education, training, and supplies.
We have fun along the way, and put lasting smiles on faces that have not smiled for some time.
How Hearts, Hands & Smiles Foundation came to be
The wake of disaster
In April of 2016, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Strong aftershocks from the massive quake pushed the death toll to 654. It was the worst worst natural disaster to hit Ecuador in 67 years. Buildings, homes, and entire communities were leveled. People had nowhere to go, and were unsure of their next steps.
Bringing people together
Having been on mission trips to Ecuador in the past, founder Rob Ayers rallied people in the states together to help the people in this 3rd world country. Family, friends, and organizations raised $50,000.00 in cash and supplies. Upon arriving to Ecuador, people lined the roads with makeshift signs with pleas for water or help. Families huddled together in makeshift camps.
With donations raised, we covered the expenses to fix a broken water plant in Muisne, and supplied four large generators to pump water to the people. In the end, we provided power and clean water to nearly 20,000 people.
The initial response from individuals and organizations who share our vision was extraordinary! As a result, Hearts, Hands & Smiles Foundation was incorporated in December 2016.
Planning began immediately for a February 2017 mission trip to Nicaragua, which is the second poorest country in Latin America. This time, we were able to partner with volunteer dentists to provide services to these poverty-stricken communities- many who have never been to a dentist in their life.
Help the impoverished people of Latin America
Hearts, Hands & Smiles Foundation
The goal of the Hearts, Hands & Smiles Foundation is to bring volunteers and organizations together to help the impoverished people of Latin America.
We do this through strategic mission trips with our partners and volunteers throughout the year.
We involve the locals
We involve the locals every step of the way. This enables a ripple effect that continues long past our stay. Here’s how we do that:
- We provide medical training so they can better treat patients.
- We teach the importance of dental hygiene and diet.
- We initiate cleanup projects to remove health risks.
- We provide communities with first-time access to clean water.
- We provide medical supplies, shoes, clothing, school supplies, and Bibles.
We need your help
We are funded entirely through the help of individuals and organizations who share our vision. We are a volunteer organization, and can use your help.
We are looking for volunteers who are dental and medical professionals, as well as general support to help us with clean-up projects, education, and donation distribution. You do not need to have any special skills to apply.
Rob Ayers, Foundation Director
Rob is the founder of the Hearts, Hands & Smiles Foundation and has volunteered, led or organized more than 20 missions in 5 countries since 2009. Having volunteered with several foundations, Rob’s vision was to bring more people and organizations together to expand their efforts and help more people in more ways. Rob is inspired by involving others in these efforts and seeing the changes that can be accomplished when people work together. Rob is the president of Ayers Promotions, and has been in the promotional product business for more than 20 years. Rob is a graduate of Littlestown High School and attended Millersville University. He is married to Tara and they have two sons, Kyle and Jared. In his leisure time, Rob enjoys golfing, scuba diving and is a die hard Eagles fan; GO BIRDS!!
James P. Sheridan, Board Chair
Jim has volunteered with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, sitting on their board for a number of years. The Hearts, Hands & Smiles Foundation has given Jim a great opportunity to give back to others while at the same time getting him out of his comfort zone by traveling internationally. Jim has traveled to Haiti with Convoy of Hope in 2017 as well as to Costa Rica for a recent HH&S planning trip. Jim graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice, and has worked in the insurance claims investigation field until recently retiring. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim has been married for 30 years to his wife Kim and they have three sons Lucas, Kyle and Timmy. In his spare time Jim can be found on the golf course.
Nancy Moyer, Board Secretary
Nancy has always loved volunteering in children’s ministry, and used her experience to serve the beautiful children of Nicaragua on the 2017 Hearts Hands & Smiles Foundation trip. She appreciates the way HH&S seeks to build continuing relationships with the people they serve, and their work truly contributes to bettering individual lives. After graduating from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, Nancy reinvented herself several times, working as a medical technologist, in a nursery school and as a homeschool mom. In 2008 she joined the front desk staff of Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates, and is now their bookkeeper. Nancy is married to Eric, and they have two children, Andrew and Hannah. In her spare time, Nancy can be found reading and knitting in the winter, kayaking in the summer and trying new vegetarian recipes all year round.
Karen Brown, Board Treasurer
Karen’s desire to be involved with Hearts Hands & Smiles Foundation is fueled by wanting to help and do good for others, as well as to see as much of the world as possible. She says “Although there are always spectacular sights to see, it amazes me how beautiful the people are”. Karen’s gifts in administration served her well during her over 20 years working at MOPAC, as well as at several part time jobs. She currently works at Ayers Promotions, joining Rob over 11 years ago. This connection opened the door for Karen to pursue a long-time desire to be a part of a mission trip, being fortunate to serve in a support role for the first two Nicaragua trips with HH&S. Karen and her husband Jeff have been married for 30 years and have two children. Their son Kyle recently married his wife Ashley, and their daughter Alayna is completing her college degree. Karen and her family have lived locally most of their lives, all graduating from Souderton Area High School.
Lisa Muscarella, Fundraising Coordinator
The first trip to Nicaragua in 2017 gave Lisa the opportunity to serve others, something she feels is what life is all about! She loves using her dental hygiene skills to help the people of Nicaragua who are so appreciative of the care they receive. To see patients who were unhappy with their teeth smile with great joy after having their teeth cleaned gives Lisa great satisfaction! She’s hooked on dental missions now, serving with the Nicaragua team in 2018 and plans to join the trip to Costa Rica later in 2018. Lisa grew up in the Lansdale area, a part of a family of six, all of whom live locally and gather for frequent Sunday dinners, just like when they were kids. After attending St. Stanislaus and Lansdale Catholic High School, Lisa graduated from Montgomery County Community College Dental Hygiene Program. She now works at Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates. She is passionate about HH&S and is hoping her fundraising efforts will be able to support their causes in Latin America for many years to come.
Anthony Lelli, Special Projects Coordinator
Anthony travelled to Nicaragua for the first time in 2017 for their planning trip, and it was life changing! Going to Nicaragua and meeting the people that the Hearts Hands & Smiles Foundation will impact has moved him to get involved and use his gifts wherever needed. After attending Pennridge High School and further training in plumbing, heating and air conditioning, Anthony runs his own construction company started 20 years ago. Anthony is married to Shannon and together they operate Planet Smoothie in Doylestown, PA, and raise two boys, two girls and a puppy. Because of Planet Smoothie’s involvement in the community, Anthony and Shannon have been a part of many fundraisers and volunteer activities over the last 15 years.