World Care’s mission is to provide humanitarian relief by recycling surplus materials and supply to create usable resources for health, education and sustainable communities worldwide. We believe in providing tools to those less fortunate and promoting an ethic of community service. We recognize the greater capacities of ingenuity, compassion, service, vision, and leadership, and seek to embody these values in all that we do.
World Care began in 1994 in founder Lisa Hopper’s Tucson home as a volunteer collection of school supplies for local area students. World Care now operates out of the Pioneer Building located in downtown Tucson with a number of programs including Tools for Schools, which benefit thousands of Arizonans along with countries around the world.
Over the last 20 years, World Care has distinguished itself as the go-to organization for providing populations in need with humanitarian aid in the form of health, education, and emergency supplies. We support more than 170 organizations and countless individuals across Tucson and Southern Arizona. We will continue to support the community during their daily crises. Our commitment to recycling, which is a major revenue source, will remain the foundation of the World Care model. Our doors are always open to take in donations from the public and local area businesses so that we can provide no-to-low cost materials to those in need.
We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great change to improve the human condition. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe in the power of ingenuity and humanity. We believe that World Care has never been the organization to follow in someone’s footsteps; we are the ones that create footsteps. We believe in identifying problems and creating meaningful solutions to social issues. We believe in bringing people together to take care of others. We believe in creating a driving force for change in making things that seem impossible, possible. We believe in deep collaboration of our cultures, which allows us to innovate in a way that others cannot. We believe in fighting for what is right against all odds and making the impossible, possible. We believe in hope. Our heart is to inspire a shared vision of a better future and create the tools that will make it happen. As we embark on our future years, we hope your stand with us in helping World Care reach its goal.
The story of World Care began in 1993, when a group of healthcare workers from Washington D.C. traveled to Guatemala on a feasibility analysis project to identify the health conditions and the type of technology needed in rural health facilities. In this specialized team of four was Lisa Hopper who, after a thorough analysis of the present conditions, realized that the real need was not for the complex medical technology, but for the very basic life nurturing necessities such as food, shelter and most importantly – education.
On her return to Guatemala for the final evaluation with the medical team, Lisa also personally brought school supplies and distributed them to the villagers. This thoughtful gesture became a habit and in subsequent trips Lisa provided children with school supplies in Venezuela, India, Mexico, and several countries in Central America. The supplies were garnered through small donations and by recycling school materials. After her move to Tucson, AZ in 1994, Lisa’s simple humanitarian effort continued and was soon translated into World Care.
In 1996, World Care was launched as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Tucson, Arizona. World Care thus began its first program in the area of education and labeled its school supply drive “Tools for Schools.” In its first year, World Care’s Tools for Schools project supported 200 schoolchildren. By 2004, World Care supported over 25,000 children, 268 schools and countless teachers in Arizona. Tools for Schools has been reaching out into other states and countries over the several years, helping others get textbooks and basic school supplies through their local organizations.
In 2014, World Care underwent a transformation to re-align itself with the core values that have made our organization strong and effective. World Care’s four pillars Education, Health, Emergency Relief and Environment have evolved to meet the needs of the times. We have brought our community and many others together to respond to disasters. They began as small groups collecting supplies for an earthquake and grew to managing millions of pounds of aid in preparation for disasters. Our emergency response and preparedness now incorporates the entire community and many other non-profits to respond quicker and more efficiently. In addition, World Care is now the co-organizer in creating Southern Arizona Community Organizations Active in Disasters.
Our Health programs grew out of local need for medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, transfer chairs, first aid supply and wound care products. At the beginning this program provided crutches to a woman on a fixed income that could not afford them. Since then, this program has aided hundreds of people each year in financial and physical crises. This has improved their quality of life and dignity.
Our education pillar began twenty years ago with our Tools for Schools program by providing school supplies to local students in need. This program has been the backbone of why World Care exists. After many years the need changed from computers, which created our recycling/refurbishing programs, to connecting world class educators with students through the STEMLearning Portal.