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The History of HHP

Since 1966, when he was released from prison, and allowed to immigrate to the United States, and rejoin his family, Mr. Francisco Jose Patino became increasingly concerned for the welfare of many of his fellow political prisoners in the communist controlled Island of Cuba. Having survived 5 years of imprisonment in the political prison system of Cuba, he had great empathy for the plight of the families of those imprisoned. These have little recourse in an already diminished system, which denies them any medical assistance.

His son, Dr. Frank Patino at that time worked for Pfizer Corporation and in 1996 both Frank Sr. and Frank Jr. decided to begin Health Help Project to send medicines to those less fortunate in Cuba. The Hebrew Scriptures tell us: “Who can despise small beginnings?” From this small step of faith, many long miles have been crossed by the grace of God.

From every corner, where we least expected it, help arrived. Volunteers and donors began to see the heart of this ministry and joined hands with us. Operating on a shoestring budget, Health Help Project has sent over 25 million dollars of medical equipment in the last ten years. We have provided five ambulances, nine dialysis machines, two Cardiac Catherization Labs, two nuclear cameras, dozens of portable x-ray machines, hundreds of hospital beds and stretchers, thousands of wheelchairs and crutches, untold numbers of medicines and every kind of medical equipment from bedpans to band aids. Somehow, the money has always come in, at exactly the right time to be able to send the equipment to the intended destinations.

At first, the funds for our operations came only through the private giving of the Patino family. Today, donors come from a variety of American corporations, such as Pfizer, Striker Stretcher, Huron Ambulance, Oakwood Hospital, MAPET International Foundation, etc. and many private contributors throughout our nation and across the planet. Our HHP family now spans across the Gulf of Mexico to Central America and the Caribbean, across the Atlantic to Europe and Africa, and across the Pacific to the Philippines and their contributions in volunteer time and finances keep HHP growing bigger every year.

In light of the many humanitarian organizations that maintain a few individuals in their directorship positions, with exorbitant salaries, we decided to tread the path least trodden. We have no paid or salaried staff members in HHP. Strictly volunteer workers run each and every position in this organization from top to bottom.

As a matter of fact, the individuals involved meet even the cost of the medical trips taken in our Hope for the Hopeless Project. That is not to say that we do not recognize the legitimacy of paying reasonable salaries to the organizers in other organizations, for certainly “the workman is worthy of his hire.” But, this has been our own chosen path, as we have sought to distance ourselves, from those who in the past have so callously abused these organizations.

We have, since our small beginning, developed many friends and reliable contacts in the 18 countries that we help. It is our policy to network with local organizations with similar goals and we have therefore, established a wide network of friends, which assist us in all that we do. These help us to keep our costs to absolute minimum, so that the needy receive the largest possible portion of the funds donated.

Today HHP is involved in 10 different and vital projects, which have evolved as our organization has grown. For more information on these vital projects, please turn to our Projects section for a detailed description of our present efforts.

Please help us to care for the uncared and forgotten members of our human family. Remember that a stranger is just a family member that you have yet grown to know. We are our brother’s keeper!

Roberto Pati�o Magginetti - Executive Director

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