If you see someone in Haiti or the Dominican Republic using a wheelchair, chances are it is because of New York native Hector Algarobba.
The 58-year old supervisory engineer with real estate firm CBRE, started his own charity foundation, HHS, and works regularly with the Wheelchair Foundation and the American Wheelchair Mission to ship wheelchairs to the HHS headquarters in Santo Domingo. Algarobba flies twice a year to the Dominican Republic and always uses the time as a chance to help those less fortunate.
Algarobba originally came from the Dominican Republic and unfortunately lost both his parents in a plane crash on November 12, 2001. However, the accident did not deter Alarobba from continuing with his charitable work and to date he has done work in all 31 provinces in the Dominican Republic. When a massive earthquake struck Haiti in January of 2010, Algarobba was on the ground in less than three months with hundreds of wheelchairs for victims of the natural disaster. People would come out of hospitals to get a chair and then leave for fear of the hospital confiscating the new wheelchairs.
Later this year Algarobba will join with the national Rotary Club and the Knights of Columbus to hand-deliver another 110 wheelchairs to needy families in the Dominican Republic. To date, Algarobba is directly responsible for the give-away of over 4,000 wheelchairs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Even more impressive, Algarobba has never held a fundraiser or asked for any money. In addition to donating thousands of wheelchairs, Algarobba has also adopted a rural schoolhouse and distributed backpacks filled with school supplies to 18 schools in the country. He also plans to take 15 doctors along on his next trip to treat locals who cannot afford or do not have access to medical attention.
We salute Hector’s amazing work.