Health Justice & Humanitarian Aid

Astoria, NY   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 46-5479437


Herbalists Without Borders vision is a global community where all people have access to affordable natural and botanical health and wellness. To bring that vision into reality, we work with community-based chapters to create educational, advocacy and grassroots model projects to fill the gaps in health justice internationally.

Notes from the nonprofit

HWB is an all volunteer organization with no paid employees. We are membership based and our members are herbalists, medicinal herb growers, food growers, health activists and holistic wellness practitioners from around the globe. We also work to raise funds through grants and donors to fund our programs internationally. Programs including free clinics, community outreach, education, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, medicinal seed saving, community gardens, and more.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Jocelyn Perez Blanco

Main address

28-24 Steinway St, Suite 219

Astoria, NY 11103 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Diseases and conditions

Public safety

Population served info

Children and youth



Immigrants and migrants

Economically disadvantaged people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (G01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

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

Show Forms 990



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

HWB is an all volunteer organization working to meet the needs of communities impacted by natural disasters, barriers to health, lack of fresh food, and in need of plant conservation. We work in areas after hurricanes, forest fires, and floods. We also work in communities serving low income people, those without any other access to wellness care, and to veterans. Internationally we work with refugees and displaced people. We also work to grow and conserve our medicinal plants. As an all volunteer organization, our key problem and need is for funding to take our our core volunteers who are currently volunteering 40-70 hours per week, and transition to at least one paid employee, dedicated full time to our mission and programs and helping us grow to this next level.

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?

International Borderless Medicine

Herbalists Without Borders provides volunteer health justice and humanitarian aid to thousands of people in more than 20 countries with multiple chapters in some of those countries. Health, wellness and compassionate care are served by our volunteers in regions where there are either natural or human-induced crisis or disaster. Examples of such care during the past decade include Herbal Medic Support for First Nations People and the Water Protectors in North Dakota (U.S.), victims and survivors of the earthquakes in Nepal and hurricanes in Haiti. Helping people when there is political upheaval and subsequent violence or displacement is also part of our global volunteerism. An example of this is happening with our HWB chapters is the United Kingdom and Greece where refugees from Syria and other nations are being assisted. Herbalists Without Borders also assists global people facing discrimination, oppression and other barriers to accessing health and wellness. HWB does not impose care upon countries or cultures of people, we go when invited and typically encourage residents of countries to organize and start an HWB Chapter in their region. Cultural autonomy, preservation of healing traditions, indigenous plants and healers are priorities for Herbalists Without Borders.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants

Global citizens continue to be marginalized, displaced, unemployed, homeless, imprisoned, or forced into prostitution or human slavery. Many people struggle economically, living in rural isolation to overcrowded refugee camps - all facing incredible barriers to health and wellness. HWB promotes down to the ground green medicine for people who desire access to natural and botanical medicine based on need and not the ability to pay. All HWB clinics depend on the generosity and volunteer time of the natural medicine communities they serve, from people like you.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

The Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic through Herbalists without Borders promotes and provides natural and holistic approaches to relieving the symptoms of trauma and PTSD. The project supports veterans and their families, including those who may be marginalized, displaced, unemployed, homeless or imprisoned because of their PTSD symptoms. We help to create and maintain a calm and regulated nervous system while building internal resilience to life’s challenges.
Our Vision
All veterans and their family members who experience the symptoms of PTSD may have the opportunity to experience natural approaches to easing their symptoms and find wholeness.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

Our Nourishing Community Herb Gardens Project highlights unique community gardens that include medicinal herbs as a sustainable and educational resource, helping individuals and communities thrive. We support growing herbs as well as food as we know health is a social and racial justice issue, and healthy foods and herbs are a part of reaching underserved communities without access to fresh food.

​When we consider global crises it is easy to feel overwhelmed and become disempowered. Creating community gardens that bring back medicinal herbs alongside wild foods of the local habitat is a tangible way to be a part of the solution. As we grow gardens we grow community.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Herbalists Without Borders is passionate about saving and sustaining our native medicinals and wants to teach others how to preserve seeds and propagate medicinal plants. There are a number of organizations that focus on saving seeds for food production, but seed saving for medicinal plants is not common. While we believe that food is a primary source of medicine, HWB also wants to promote Seed Saving models that include medicinal plants.

Our goal is not to create a physical Seed Bank, but to create models and best practices to share with others around the globe. Watch our website as our library of documents about saving seeds and propagating medicinal plants grows. Additionally, please enjoy our articles about individuals and communities who save seeds and want to teach others about this important practice.

Population(s) Served

Herbalists Without Borders Community Herbal Apothecary Project promotes community grassroots, cost-effective, plant-based health and wellness that is accessible to all people. This need is becoming more urgent due to high costs of mainstream medical care, lack of insurance coverage, along with the resurgence of folk herbalism integrating medicinal and nutritive plants grown regionally. There is a strong need for sustainable, readily accessible herbs and herbal products at any given time, from prevention to times of community emergencies.

Herbalists Without Borders Community Apothecary Project Vision:
To help communities and countries strive to have an Herbal Apothecary in every community, extending affordable, sustainable Herbal Medicine for all people.

Population(s) Served

During catastrophic events many Chapters will mobilize to form street and mobile clinics, or set-up temporary walk-in clinics at shelters, churches or anywhere that will allow them to use the space, and even travel to neighborhoods to get to people in need. They service their community for free and provide herbal support and first aid - for days, weeks, or even months. Our Chapters often transition to mobile free clinics or free People's Clinic events post-disaster to provide ongoing care to underserved communities. With California fires, we are just now getting information and coordinating to see what is needed and how we can support our Chapters in the area, so your message is timely and so needed. 

We gather supplies for herbal first aid kits - most items are donated to us - and are ready to ship to chapters in their communities after natural disasters.

All donated items go directly to Chapters providing free community services and disaster relief. In the past we have had chapters and members respond to Nepal after the earthquake, Houston after Harvey, Puerto Rico after Maria, to Montana and California forest fires, to Italy after the earthquakes, in Greece with the influx of refugees needing medical attention, and more.

In times of disaster hospitals are only accepting seriously wounded and turning people away. Many herbalists are trained medics, and step up to provide first aid to relieve ailing populations. We also find many people will not go to traditional medical facilities after hurricanes or fires even if they need help - such as immigrants and the homeless, so we see displaced and marginalized people needing care.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

Trauma Trainings and Disaster Relief/Clinic training help empower local people to take action in their own communities. By working to create eGuides, educational programs, online and in person trainings, podcasts, and webinars, people around the whole globe can learn and work in their communities to serve and reach those in need.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Initial 2022 numbers are not complete, pending the final Q4 2022 reports due Jan 31, 2023. Numbers climbing after effects of covid.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Herbalists Without Borders vision is a global community where all people have access to affordable natural and botanical health and wellness. To bring that vision into reality, we create educational, advocacy and grassroots model projects to fill the gaps in health justice internationally.

HWB is focusing on membership retention and tools for volunteers working in their own communities, as well as technical support and resources to enable volunteers to help more people.

HWB is focusing on grants that will bring funding in that will allow us to have 1-3 full time staff to better meet the needs of our goals and projects.

HWB is implementing expanded programs for free clinics, community wellness outreach, growing food and herbs in food deserts, preserving our wild medicinal plants, and education on all of the above.

HWB is currently writing grants for specific projects and overall mission.

HWB is expanding membership resources, technical support, and advocacy. We are upgrading our website to offer more integrative tools for our members and volunteers.

HWB is working to establish educational support programs for volunteer training, retention and expanding our programs.

HWB is working to partner with groups of similar focus to reach people impacted by natural disasters, poverty, and other barriers to health and wellness.

HWB actively searches for donations to our programs - including seeds, herbal health and wellness supplies, water filters, emergency first aid supplies, and more, in order to ship supplies for aid in the wake of disasters, or to communities in need.

HWB has been growing our membership to reach more communities and get more resources and support to members. HWB is primarily a membership based nonprofit model, and we apply for grants and accept donations to fund our programs and relief/aid. We do not have any paid employees yet, and we have a goal of reaching 1 paid employee to have a long-term full time person dedicated to the day to day management and support of our work. We have expanded to over 80 global chapters, a large US relief and aid system of donation intake and distribution, microgrants, seed grants, and other models that allow us to reach even more people and lift communities experiencing health disparities up. Our work is in more demand now more than ever, and our programs are reaching thousands of people per year, with a volunteer estimated value of hours volunteered of over $1million USD. Since 2017 we have grown fundraising by over 500%, membership by over 600%, and are continuing to grow. By expanding our capabilities and staff, we can continue to grow and reach more people, and serve more in communities.


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.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Average of 0.00 over 4 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Average of 3.9 over 4 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0% over 4 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


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.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of HERBALISTS WITHOUT BORDERS INC’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2019
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $16,810
As % of expenses 64.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $16,810
As % of expenses 64.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $42,734
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0%
Program services revenue 1.3%
Membership dues 42.5%
Investment income 0.0%
Government grants 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 56.2%
Other revenue 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $25,918
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0%
Personnel 82.4%
Professional fees 0.0%
Occupancy 0.0%
Interest 0.0%
Pass-through 17.6%
All other expenses 0.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2019
Total expenses (after depreciation) $25,918
One month of savings $2,160
Debt principal payment $0
Fixed asset additions $0
Total full costs (estimated) $28,078

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2019
Months of cash 15.7
Months of cash and investments 15.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 15.7
Balance sheet composition info 2019
Cash $33,851
Investments $0
Receivables $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.0%
Unrestricted net assets $0
Temporarily restricted net assets N/A
Permanently restricted net assets N/A
Total restricted net assets $0
Total net assets $33,851

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2019
Material data errors No


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

Executive Director

Jocelyn Perez Blanco

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 01/18/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Denise Cusack

Board co-chair

Becky Starling

Lucretia Jones

Petra Sovcov

Healing House Herbals

Rebecca Trinidad

Carolyn Jones

CJ Media

Denise Cusack

Wholly Rooted, LLC

Arati Ursus

Brown Bear Herbs

Becky Starling

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/27/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.