Paula Claussen & guest Brett Schwemmer International Relief Teams
May 17, 2021
Hosted by Paula Claussen
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Paula Claussen w/ guest Brett Schwemmer International Relief Teams. International Relief Teams (IRT) IRT helps families survive and recover after a disaster by providing timely and effective assistance. IRT also provides a hopeful future for underserved communities through programs that improve their health and wellbeing. During disasters, IRT deploys medical and reconstruction teams, provides supplies, and finances the restoration of infrastructure. IRT builds healthy communities through medical training programs; medical missions to low-income countries, including surgical and eyeglass teams; shipments of medicines to rural hospitals and clinics; and health, nutrition and education support for vulnerable populations. Since 1988, IRT has deployed more than 7,500 volunteers and provided $540 million in food, medicines, relief supplies, and volunteer services to families in need in 70 countries worldwide.
The Rewards of Volunteering
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel
Our show delves into the whys, wherefores and outcomes of volunteering, both spiritual and concrete for all involved. Compassion should lead to action driven by a desire to make a difference.
When you invest your time, your energy, and a belief in making a difference in the world, you walk away with pride and fulfillment. When you see your contribution lift people up and give them a better life, it is awe-inspiring.
We examine the backgrounds of diverse volunteers and leaders, where they come from, why they volunteer and continue on this path. Project Mercy has worked with hundreds of volunteers from diverse walks of life for over 30 years.
Our volunteers are unified by a desire to help devastatingly poor families living south of the US border, literally, in our own backyard. These volunteers help poverty stricken families build their own home so they can live in safety and security. We introduce some of these volunteers and donors so you can hear their stories.
Paula Claussen and her family live in San Diego, California. Thirty years ago a friend asked Paula to accompany her on a mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico to give out donations. What Paula saw that day, the broken-down shacks and desperation of the families, just minutes across our southern border, horrified her.
She was determined to do something to make a difference and it did not take long for it to be evident that the main need was adequate shelter. From this experience Project Mercy was born. Paula created a network of volunteers building homes for impoverished families.
In 2016 she was nominated as a CNN Hero for her work and volunteer outreach. Paula found the award both humbling and gratifying on a personal level, but more important was the recognition of the Project Mercy program and people involved on both sides of the border.
With Paula’s guidance, Project Mercy has grown from a bunch of friends handing out items to needy people to a respected 501c(3) non-profit organization that has built over 1,500 solid houses in the past 30 years.