World Care is a 501(c)(3) organization that implements three major initiatives: Tools for Schools, Tools for Health, and Tools for the Earth. World Care provides school supplies to thousands of children each year to keep them in school; donates medical equipment and supplies to victims of natural disasters; and promotes recycling of office supplies, books, and equipment to keep these items out of the landfills. In 1999, hundreds of volunteers from corporations, civic organizations, government, and student groups donated 25,000 hours to World Care’s programs. This year, World Care is serving children in 210 Arizona schools, 7 out-of-state districts, and 27 international schools.
Lisa Hopper, President and founder of World Care, started the organization on a small scale (out of her garage) about six years ago, and it has grown to encompass hundreds of volunteers and businesses in Southern Arizona and beyond that devote their time and funds to World Care’s cause. The span and reach of World Care’s effect on needy citizens at home and abroad has not gone unnoticed. Recently, a delegation from Moscow came to Tucson and met with Hopper to learn how they could launch a community-based volunteer effort like World Care to secure donated school supplies to keep Russian children in school.
The impact of World Care has been phenomenal. Each summer, two semi-tractor trailers loaded with supplies are brought to a Care Fair, sponsored by Kiwanis for Kids and World Care. Children come to Pueblo High School in Tucson to pick up their school supplies and receive medical/eye exams and vaccinations, sign up for a subsidized lunch program, and receive donations from a food bank. In 1999, World Care distributed 12,000 school packs at the Care Fair and in 2000, it provided 14,000 packs. Throughout the year, an additional 6,000 school packs are distributed to other needy children.
Children in foreign countries benefit from World Care’s school supply efforts, too. Volunteers prepared 600 individual school packs for the Nicaraguan children attending school in open-air tent schools due to the devastation of their school buildings by Hurricane Mitch. Each summer, World Care sends a large shipment of school and medical supplies to Guatemala for distribution to poor children. World Care also mobilized the donation of 2,000 teddy bears and 5,000 Pro-Yo yo-yos to children in Kosovo whose lives have been destroyed by the war there.
World Care obtains medical supplies through donations and auctions for needy clinics. Recently, World care gave the Clinica Santa Maria in Monterrey, Mexico a tractor-trailer load of medical resources. A deluxe motor coach donated by Motor Coach Industries was converted into a mobile medical clinic for preventative services, immunizations, wellness checkups, and emergency aid in Tucson’s sister city, Hermosillo, Mexico. Five additional coaches are being converted into mobile clinics that will provide urgently needed health care services in rural China and elsewhere.
Volunteers from all walks of life offer their services to World Care. Hopper has worked without salary for five years. High-risk youth and adult offenders can perform court-ordered community service at World Care and receive life skills and mentoring projects to aid them in their return to society. Lisa Hopper, through World Care, has inspired citizens to think beyond their city and serve disadvantaged people around the globe.