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Lenexa nonprofit Heart to Heart faces hurdles in sending humanitarian aid to Gaza

Heart to Heart International, a Lenexa-based nonprofit, is sending 1.7 million menstrual pads and 54 thousand hygiene kits to Gaza.
Heart to Heart International
Heart to Heart International, a Lenexa-based nonprofit, is sending 1.7 million menstrual pads and 54,000 hygiene kits to Gaza.

People in Gaza are faced with a mounting humanitarian crisis. Heart to Heart International, a Lenexa-based nonprofit, is sending aid packages to the region, but it's difficult to get relief to those in need because of bureaucratic hurdles and safety risks.

Getting aid to the nearly 2 million people who have been displaced due to the ongoing war in Gaza has been a logistical challenge, as well as a deadly one.

It's estimated more than 200 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since the war began in October 2023.

"Right now, Gaza is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be an aid worker... There have been more aid workers killed than by any other army, militia, terrorist, than any other war in the world," said JP Fisher, director of disaster response at the nonprofit Heart to Heart International.

Based in Lenexa, Heart to Heart is shipping pallets of hygiene supplies to Gazans. All imported aid must comply with strict packaging guidelines. Without a functional seaport or airport in Gaza, aid must travel by convoy through a series of checkpoints — slowing the relief process.

"You've got three different governments, so to speak, that you have to clear customs on," said Dan Neal, vice president of operations at the nonprofit. "It's dramatically slower than many other situations that we find around the world."

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