Changing Lives Through Distribution Trip

Hayden Talsma of Avon, SD, who is 16 years old, had the opportunity to travel to Cabo in February 2023 on a Hope Haven International Ministries distribution trip. His mother, Tina Talsma, was also a part of the volunteer group. Given the opportunity, Hayden went on his first big mission trip and it was a life-changing experience to say the least.  

Hayden’s parents, Jerry and Tina Talsma have been connected with Hope Haven for multiple years, hosting one of Hope Haven’s annual fundraisers, Talsma’s ATV/Horse Ride Benefit. Through this connection, Jerry was able to go on a distribution trip to Romania a few years ago. His experience and the stories he shared sparked the interest of Tina and Hayden to do the same. After reaching out and signing up, they were excited for this opportunity to distribute wheelchairs to people in need across the world.

Upon arriving in Cabo, the Hope Haven International Ministries team was introduced to the individuals who ran Mobilize Mankind, who had a shop in an old school building. Hayden explained that all the wheelchair parts were already at the site, they just needed to be put together and then sized to each child that came in. Hayden and Tina assembled wheelchairs for 3 days and averaged about 2 per day. Once the wheelchairs were assembled, Hayden explained his experience of assisting a child from Cabo get fitted for the chair, “the kid couldn’t communicate well, but the mom was very happy that her child got a new wheelchair. It was really exciting to see all that happened, it was just a lot of emotion.”

It’s safe to say Hayden left Cabo with a changed perspective and appreciation for what Hope Haven does. “Before, I didn’t realize that there were organizations to help people with disabilities. I knew they existed, but I didn’t really have a grasp on what they all do. And now I have a better understanding of what Hope Haven is doing behind the scenes to help those in need.”

Hope Haven thanks Hayden, Tina and all the others who continue to go on distribution trips. It is truly a life-changing experience not only for the individuals receiving a wheelchair, but also for Hope Haven volunteers who get to be a part of it.

If you are interested in going on a distribution trip, visit to view the dates for 2023 and 2024.

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