Welcome to The HIM News Page

Here, you’ll find stories of impact from our volunteers and staff, posts taking a deeper dive into our programs and services and more.
those it serves. From child care, feeding and housing to medical, dental and eyecare HIM strives to bring aide to those in need. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! How does your life fit in with HIM's work. Let us know how we can help you become a participant through working with or giving to our many programs. Contact us at information@heartsinmotion.org 
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La Tierra in Motion: Raspberry Shakes Detect Earthquakes -Posted: Aug 08 2022

Long-time volunteer and supporter Steve Roche spearheaded an HIM grant proposal to the Geoscientists Without Borders to install 21 seismic sensors, fondly referred to as Raspberry Shakes, to help with the detection of earthquakes. A Raspberry Shake is a small but powerful seismograph used to monitor earthquakes and connects to the world's largest citizen science-based seismic network.

We are so excited to share this international collaborative project was awarded $80,000 from Geoscientists Without Borders over two years. An additional $32,500 was generously provided by private donors and Dr. Christine Ruhl with the University of Tulsa.

HIM, in collaboration with Ohio State University, INSIVUMEH -(the Guatemalan government institute responsible for seismology and volcanology), and the Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, the group has coined their project La Tierra In Motion to increase the country's resiliency and response to geologic hazards.

The Ohio State University group is led by Dr. Michael Barton and PhD candidate Lindsey Hernandez. Their portion of the project is to install a broadband seismic sensor on Volcan Pacaya and to foster community education on geoscience utilizing student interns from Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala.

Currently, there are three sensors in operation at HIM's facilities in Teculutan, Pueblo Modelo, and Gualan. The two other sensors are installed at Bomberos Voluntarios stations in Los Amates and Cabanas. In addition, there are 11 sensors at INSIVUMEH, and four more sensors will be installed in August and the remainder in October this year.

La Tierra In Motion is excited to report that INSIVUMEH is using the data from the newly installed sensors in their day-to-day monitoring of seismic activity in Guatemala and Central America. During the July mission trip, a seismic event occurred with a magnitude of 4.2 in San Salvador. The La Tierra In Motion sensors provided 26% of the data to characterize the earthquake's intensity and fault slip mechanism.

Victor Heredia's Story -Posted: Jul 18 2022
One of Karen’s favorite success stories is Victor Heredia. She recalls being very tired at one point - she      had been doing volunteer work for a few years and was burnt out until she met a little boy, Victor Heredia, from Columbia who was in a horrible electrical accident that left him with no arms and a leg. 
Karen brought Victor  to the United States to regain his arms and a leg. Shortly after being in her care, Victor’s  depression disappeared. Karen saw first-hand how the work she did made a huge impact and noticeable difference in his life and that connection helped her regain her energy and realize how important her work was. This was one child no one thought would pull through.
Victor’s success does not end there. Years later, Victor received a BA in the Teaching of Foreign Languages from Universidad del Valle in 2009 and finished his postgraduate classes at ICESI University and has taught English at a public secondary school for the last 12 years in Sevilla – Valle, Colombia. 
Today, Victor is an active and positive member of his school's Bilingual Project where he has played an important role promoting English among students and colleagues, and in the "red de maestros de Inglés de Cali." He also teaches at the Colombo Americano in the adult program and is a Coach in the Kids Teens program where he provides teachers under his supervision, important training and provides guidance in their professional development           

In Victor’s own words…
I lost my two arms and my right leg at the age of nine. Then at the age of 11 I traveled to the U.S. and      I met the angel who gave me a new life. This angel is Karen Scheeringa-Parra or how I learnt to call her, Mom. In the United States I found a new family and that also included my siblings. Karen was and is a role model whose resilience taught me good things can happen to you if you never give up and never stop dreaming. Karen is a resilient warrior who day after day will continue helping others no matter what and that is why Karen, my mom, is and will always be my hero.  
From New Chicago to Lebanon and beyond, Hearts in Motion fills needs -Posted: Oct 17 2021

- Jacob Cross Times correspondent 

When the holidays arrive, one might wonder how they can bring positive change to their community, let alone the world. 
The story of one empowered organization headquartered in Schererville proves a major contribution can start by helping one person. 
“It was nothing incredible. It was totally by accident. … We’ve been blessed like crazy,” said Karen Scheeringa-Parra, executive director and founder of Hearts in Motion, a humanitarian aid organization serving the Region and beyond. 
When Scheeringa-Parra adopted a young girl from Korea in 1982, she met a woman who helped sick children from around the world receive needed medical care. 
“She really inspired me. I thought, ‘That was awesome. ... I can do that,’ Scheeringa-Parra said. 
She began her own efforts to help children with a girl in Guatemala whom she brought to the U.S. for surgery to repair a bilateral cleft lip and palate. 
“I was just doing this as a volunteer, and the Rotary (Club) here in the area helped me pay for the tickets for myself and the little girl,” she said. 
Later, she found herself taking medical teams to countries in need. By 1990, she founded Hearts in Motion, later achieving nonprofit status. 
“Now I’m doing 33 trips a year to different countries, primarily Central and South America,” she said. 
Local focus 
In the same way that the Rotary Club helped her reach the Guatemalan girl, Scheeringa-Parra works with other local agencies and nonprofits to carry out the Hearts in Motion mission.

“My biggest satisfaction I think is the relationships that I have in the community and people that are doing good things for other people,” she said. “I know a ton of people that want to help, and they all have a specialty.” 
Hearts in Motion is helping families in Lebanon after a bombing devastated the capital of Beirut in August. Hearts in Motion sent a container of furniture, food and clothes in cooperation with local thrift stores. 
Indianapolis-based Pack Away Hunger, donated 20,000 meals to the Lebanon relief efforts. 
Hearts in Motion touches lives around the world, but also in its own backyard. 
Bill Timmer, chief of the Highland Fire Department, contacted Scheeringa-Parra after a family from New Chicago lost everything in a trailer fire. 
As part of its New Directions program,  Hearts in Motion furnished the home the family moved to, even finding volunteers to install furniture and other items. 
New Directions links Hearts in Motion to 25 other agencies across Northwest Indiana, including shelters for women and the homeless and fire departments. 
Agency representatives bring clients to the Hearts in Motion thrift store at 2210 U.S. Hwy. 41 in Schereville to pick out what they need at no cost. 
New Directions 
Senior centers will also be receiving gifts this holiday season. Men’s and women’s socks, reading glasses, tea cups, small throw blankets and anything useful in a nursing home would be welcomed, Scheeringa-Parra said. 
Donors are invited to bring these items, as well as toys for kids from birth to 17, to the Hearts in Motion thrift store. 
“It’s great. A lot of donations are coming in. We just have to keep the word going that we are still here, that we’re alive, and we still need your help,” said Deputy Director Julie Stevens. 
Full circle 
Stevens has a unique place at Hearts in Motion. She is the girl Scheeringa-Parra adopted from Korea from 1982. Now deputy director, Scheeringa-Parra said Stevens is in position to run the organization. 
“(Julie) was my inspiration,” Scheeringa-Parra said, adding that her 11 other children also have a part to play with Hearts in Motion. 
“It’s going to be some big footsteps to follow in. She is a visionary, and she has made this organization just grow so tremendously,” Stevens said of her mother. 
Stevens said for her, her sisters and brothers, growing up with Hearts in Motion was the norm, making it hard to imagine doing anything else. 
“It was a big adventure and a lot of fun,” Stevens said. 
Stevens oversees many humanitarian programs, particularly international programs in Guatemala, where Hearts in Motion operates five schools as well as a 17-acre campus with an orphanage and nutrition center. 
Stevens said weekly feeding initiatives are planned this holiday season at the nutrition center, where families can receive food baskets. This is part of Hearts in Motion 's effort to ensure sponsored children get food on the table this holiday season. 
Children also will receive Christmas gifts from U.S. donors and sponsors as usual, Stevens said. 
Sponsorships, available online at www.heartsinmotion.org/him-Sponsorship Programs-220.htm — provide a sponsored child an education, meals and/or health care. 
Stevens said purchasing a sponsorship makes a great gift for the holidays for that someone who has everything.  
“I’m excited for where it’s going and what I can do to help make it grow and just continue for many years,” Stevens said. 

To help or for more information, visit www.heartsinmotion.org.