Helping Hugs

Established to Create a Change

Saint Simons Island, GA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Helping Hugs

EIN: 46-1321217


Our mission is to enable communities in Cote-de-Fer, Haiti to achieve self-sufficiency through education, economic development and basic health care. Our vision is to provide resources for a thriving community. Our goals are to improve the quality of life of the people in the communities we serve through medical assistance, education, clean water and small business enterprises.

Ruling year info



Evelyne Marshall

Vice President

Jo Heller-Orr

Main address

PO Box 24477

Saint Simons Island, GA 31522 USA

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Subject area info

Elementary and secondary education

Community and economic development


Human services

Population served info

Religious groups

Social and economic status


Work status and occupations

NTEE code info

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Clean Water

Our medical mission team identified the use of polluted water as a major source of illnesses that needed treatment during their annual visits to Cotes-de-Fer, Haiti. In the past few years, we have installed clean water systems where a source of water existed. We have also constructed several cisterns for the collection of rainwater. We are currently embarking on a program to drill wells in communities where a source of clean water does not exist. We will complete our fourth well this year in Saurel , Haiti providing water to about 500 families. Having water in the village allows children to gather the water and still attend school where they receive a nutritious lunch. Our goal is to meet the UN Sustainability Standards by having clean, safe water available in all our communities by 2030. In addition to providing clean, safe water, we teach the WASH system (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), a UNICEF hand-washing program in schools and communities with clean water systems.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

Since 2012, generous donors have continued to support the operation of three elementary schools in our twin parish. The funding includes teacher salaries and training, teaching and learning supplies, a school lunch program and salaries for support staff. Beginning in 2017, we extended our support to include tuition assistance for students attending the Catholic secondary school in Cotes-de-Fer. In addition, three classes have graduated from the computer program established in Cotes-de-Fer in 2021. Students from age 10 to adults have studied Microsoft Office, Excel and PowerPoint. Having these skills will make it easier for the graduates to find work.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Since the devastating earthquake of 2011 and subsequent hurricanes, we have devoted resources to repairing and improving buildings and homes in the area we service. We are nearing the completion of the reconstruction of 10 chapels, many of which also serve as community meeting locations. New roofs, strengthening of walls, conversion of dirt floors to cement and the addition of windows and security doors are just some of the repairs and improvements. The last step is to paint all 10 chapels. Future projects include the conversion of buildings from generator to solar power.

Population(s) Served

Most Haitians in the remote villages of our service area have never seen a doctor or taken any medicine. It can take more than five hours to reach medical care by walking or donkey ride. Medical missions to the parish and its chapel communities are conducted with up to 1,000 patients treated for hypertension, infections, diabetes, parasites, mosquito-borne illnesses, leprosy, machete wounds and dog bites. A program to treat hypertension was established in 2018 to re-evaluate patients and resupply medications. We are grateful for our partner in this effort, the Brunswick, Georgia Chapter of the Links, Inc. A Haitian registered nurse was hired in 2018 to visit local villages to conduct rechecks on known patients and to evaluate new patients for hypertension. This nurse resupplies patients with their medications and adjusts dosages in conjunction with the District Medical Director. The nurse visited patients every 3 months until recently when that schedule was changed to every 6 mos.

Population(s) Served

Haiti is severely deforested. The lack of tree cover reduces agricultural productivity, raises average temperatures and makes rural areas more susceptible to flooding. Low agricultural productivity leads many of Haiti's smallholder farmers to take up producing charcoal to supplement their low incomes. As a result, this causal link between deforestation and rural poverty continues. Following a needs assessment carried out in April, 2022, The Smallholder Farmers Alliance started an agroforestry program in the region. Twelve training sessions were held involving 360 local farmers. Following those training sessions, 6,900 trees were transplanted and 15,650 were planted to provide food production, building materials and ecosystem restoration. 240 agricultural hand tools were distributed to support the tree planting and crop planting effort. As part of the animal husbandry program, 40 goats were distributed with each farmer agreeing to share two offspring with other farmers.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Helping Hugs
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Helping Hugs

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Helping Hugs

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Evelyne Marshall

Born Heliopolis, Egypt -Educated in Montreal,Canada. Bachelors of Arts degree at Concordia, Montreal. -married 1971 -3 children Work experience : Air Canada 1970-1971 - Flight attendant Thousand Oaks,Ca. 1982-1985 Dental office manager Dekalb County,Ga 1988-1996 - French teacher Key Planning Inc. Dekalb County, GA 1996-2016- Insurance sales/financial planning Volunteer experience: Arts Council of Thousand Oaks,CA- stage manager PTA Thousand Oaks School system CA-Vice President Borchard Park Athletic Organization CA- Track and field coach PTA Evansdale Elementary School, Dekalb GA-President Tucker Youth Soccer Association GA summer athletic programs- organized summer training camps Atlanta Olympics 1996- special envoy/liaison to the Mauratanian Olympic Committee Helping Hugs, St William Church StSimons Island GA- translator,President

Vice President

Jo Heller-Orr

Jo Heller Orr is a retired elementary teacher. She moved to St Simons Island in 2017 to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. While attending St William Catholic Church she became involved with Helping Hugs, Inc for Haiti. Helping Hugs supports the twin parish of St Joseph in Cotes de Fer. Ms Orr traveled to Cotes de Fer in 2018 to evaluate the educational programs associated with St Joseph. She teaches in the Christian education program at St William and encourages communication between the children of the two parishes. Currently she serves as chair of the education committee and is vice president.

Helping Hugs

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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Compensation data
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There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Helping Hugs

Board of directors
as of 03/28/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
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Board chair

Monsignor Christopher Schreck

St. William Catholic Church

Term: 2021 -

Dr. Shirley Wilson

Southeast Georgia Health System

Peggy Mitchell

St. William Catholic Church

Peggy Meegan

St. William Catholic Church

Dr. Diane Smith

St. William Catholic Church

Bob Hochwald

St. William Catholic Church