David Campbell

David Campbell , Hands On Disaster Response
Executive Director
Hands On Disaster Response
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006

Four decades in the business world - high tech and finance - equipped David Campbell with a wealth of knowledge, resources and contacts. All that came into play in 2004, when Campbell went to Thailand after the tsunami to aid in the recovery of ravaged villages and to launch Hands On Thailand. The plan was to next launch a larger organization, Hands On Worldwide, as a vehicle to respond to future crises, but Hurricane Katrina came first, roaring into the Gulf Coast in the fall of 2005. Shortly thereafter, Hands On USA debuted in a small church in Biloxi, Mississippi, an area nearly decimated by the hurricane's wrath. HOUSA coordinated the work of more than 1,500 volunteers who came to the Biloxi area and took direct responsibility for getting services to almost 1,000 homes. Volunteers offered support to medical clinics and aid distribution agencies; aided in addressing area residents' mental health issues; removed mold, debris, and trees; and sheltered and found homes for displaced animals. In January 2006, HOUSA handed the reins - the Biloxi Center, equipment, team leaders, and volunteers on site - to Hands On Network Gulf Coast, who have committed to sustaining operations throughout the next year. Hands on Worldwide has launched a modest project in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, after the May 2006 earthquake there, and is now preparing to direct volunteer resources to the victims of the world's next major disaster, wherever it may strike.