Caring for Children

About Helping Hands Healing Hearts Ministries Philippines

CRU Olongapo

CRU is truly a center for healing and recovery. It is filled with the love of Jesus and that reflects of the face of the children and staff. Rachel Kirk, HHM's Irish Missionary Manages the CRU and is surrounded by an amazing team of local staff who excel in their roles as missionaries and professionals. The mix of Irish, German and Filipino makes the home even more diverse and unique.

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Helping Hands Healing Hearts Ministries Philippines Inc. (HHM) began in 2001 in response to the needs of sick Filipino children. Claire Henderson had gone to the Philippines in 1998 for a 6 month mission trip but quickly realized that God had more work planned for her do. She began HHM after watching a child die a horrific death from rabies, following a dog bite. His parents wept as they explained that they just couldn’t afford the injections that would have saved his life. He needed medications. He needed a miracle. Claire started simply, by helping provide medications in the hospital to the children and families who could not afford them. Saving their lives, being there for them in their hours of need and bringing the love and the hope of Jesus to them was her mission. After a few years she began their first Children’s Recovery Unit (CRU) in Olongapo City. Another followed four years later in Baguio City and most recently HHM adopted a whole orphanage.

The Children’s Recovery Unit or CRU in Olongapo was HHM's first CRU ministry. It began in 2004 and has housed hundreds of children over the years. Nestled in the heart of the forest on the grounds of George Dewey Wellness and Medical Center at upper Cubi, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, CRU is 24 hour, temporary care facility for sick and dying children. A place to recover! It currently houses around 15 children. They try to keep the numbers at a manageable rate so that the children they have can have the full attention and devotion of the team. They have doubled HHM's numbers in emergency situations but generally they keep them to 15-20 children at a time.

Most of HHM's children are referred from James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital in Olongapo City. Some kids are referred from DSWD, CSWD and other government agencies. Many more come from local individuals or parents who are desperate to find someone to help their child. Geographically, most of the kids come from Olongapo, Zambales and the surrounding areas. Some travel for up to 4 hours just to get to Olongapo to look for help. They make sure that when families arrive they are able to accommodate them as best they can.

They house many types of children here ranging from preemies, newborns to older teens! They have malnourished children, children with cancer, post surgical kids, children who have been abandoned to the social services or local hospital but are sick. They will consider any child who needs HHM's help as long as they are poor, sick and in need of the help they can offer. It’s a demanding mission for the staff because many of the children they invest HHM's lives into, stay for long periods of time. Its always “mixed emotions” when they leave. On one hand, it’s always difficult to say goodbye and yet they are so thrilled for them that they are finally well enough to go home to their families and get back to “normal” life. They do a little “graduation” ceremony for them before they leave and let them feel assured of HHM's love and prayers before they are discharged back to their families to another long term Child Caring Agency. As they also offer palliative care, they have had to learn to cope with a lot of deaths. HHM's hearts often break but they remind ourselves that they are no longer suffering and are safe in the arms of Jesus. They then focus on being a comfort and support to the families left behind. This particular part of the ministry has been such a blessing to families, as they have been able to minister to them all as they stay and work through the process of illness, death and loss. As the Bible instructs, they mourn with those who mourn.

Daily routines here at CRU include childcare, household chores and activities for the children. Everyone does a little of each and so the team operates well together. Almost every day there are children who have to go for check up’s and often times even have to travel as far as Manila just to see the doctors who know how to handle their cases. They also work alongside a fabulous burns Nurse in Zambales, again, it takes time to travel to her clinic, but it’s always worth the trip! As they now also have some school age children who are able to still continue their studies while having treatment, they have been able to network with a wonderful local school who is helping with their education. There’s never a dull moment with so many children around and that’s why it takes a team of at least 15 staff to run the CRU as well as extra hands in the form of HHM's foreign volunteers.

CRU is truly a center for healing and recovery. It is filled with the love of Jesus and that reflects of the face of the children and staff. Rachel Kirk, HHM's Irish Missionary Manages the CRU and is surrounded by an amazing team of local staff who excel in their roles as missionaries and professionals. The mix of Irish, German and Filipino makes the home even more diverse and unique.

Helping Hands Healing Hearts – CRU Olongapo

I got a chance to talk with the founder, Ms Claire Henderson. She gave me a list of what they need for the CRU Olongapo. I zeroed in on medicines. They badly need medicines daily. Let us join and and give them some help!
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Donation Total: $20

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