HS Cares Gives the Gift of Health

By Sharon Samber, HIAS.org

Private sector companies are capable of having a profound impact on refugee resettlement by using their resources and specific field knowledge to help those in need.

The Henry Schein Cares Foundation understands that for newly arrived refugees, the cost of basic health and hygiene products can be daunting. In response, the Foundation recently donated 200 health and hygiene kits to several HIAS affiliates through HS Cares. As part of HIAS’ larger efforts to expand private sector support for refugees resettled in the U.S., the successful partnership enabled the distribution of health and hygiene kits in four cities that have received significant numbers of refugees in the last year: Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; East Bay, Calif.; and Philadelphia.

Mohammed and Mahboba and their two boys, who are 3 and 5, received the kits, which contain basics such as toothpaste, hand sanitizer, soap, and shampoo. The family arrived in 2016 from Afghanistan, where Mohammed worked as a driver trainer and as a military computer instructor with the U.S. military. Mahboba was a school teacher. They left their country for safety reasons as, having worked with the U.S. military, they were seen as “collaborators.” They are now expecting a third child, and they were very happy to receive these donations. The family was resettled by Jewish Family and Children’s Services East Bay, in the San Francisco area, and they have started their lives again.

The kits, valued at approximately $15,000, help families maintain an adequate level of hygiene to improve their confidence as they meet new neighbors, seek new employment, and enroll in the educational system. In addition, by stabilizing the health of newly resettled refugees in the U.S., HS Cares helps to improve the personal hygiene of refugees, which in turn contributes toward preventive health measures and reducing illness.

Case managers at HIAS PA helped a multi-generational family of all women who greatly benefitted from these HS Cares donations. There is a young grandmother, her 19-year old pregnant daughter, and her two granddaughters from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who have endured trauma and loss in their journey before finally arriving in Philadelphia. Through this donation, the family’s home was stocked with a number of necessary hygiene products, most significantly feminine hygiene products and diapers.  

One of the most valuable aspects of the HS Cares donation is the financial relief it has provided for families in need. A family from Afghanistan, including baby Kayanet, recently moved to Charlotte, N.C., and received a bag of supplies, including diapers, wipes, and ointments. The father had recently lost his job so the assistance was doubly appreciated.

HS Cares has extensive experience reaching out to help refugees in need, providing kits and oral care for Syrian and Kenyan refugees, as well as disadvantaged communities throughout the U.S..

In 2001, Henry Schein, Inc. established Henry Schein Cares, a formal global social responsibility program, to increase the delivery of healthcare services and information to underserved communities in the United States and abroad.

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