Karen Scheeringa-Parra - Founder
Karen Scheeringa-Parra is a woman of faith, of passion for the disadvantaged, and a woman of seemingly unlimited energy. She is the mother of twelve children, eleven of whom were adopted from the Philippines, Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States. In 1982, while picking up her adopted daughter from Korea, Karen met the director of an organization which specialized in providing needed surgeries for children from all over the world, and immediately became involved as a volunteer in that work. She did so as part of her personal desire to follow Jesus Christ in loving service to others.
By 1986, however, Ms. Scheeringa-Parra realized that the number of children in developing countries needing medical attention required a more aggressive approach. Additionally, she observed that removing small children from their families and homes was traumatic for all involved. In 1990, Ms. Scheeringa-Parra incorporated Hearts In Motion and began taking medical teams to children in need. Hearts In Motion Inc. received 501 (c) (3) status in 1993.
Karen’s strong leadership and faith have expanded HIM in ways that are unimaginable because of her passion to serve God.
Jan St. Martin
Jan has been with Hearts in Motion since it’s inception. Traveling and participating in the mission of H.IM (three mission trips every year), gives her an outlet for giving back and sharing the many blessings she and her family have been given. “Many years ago I realized that I had been given a gift, to truly enjoy my work and feel like I could make a difference in the lives of others, and Hearts In Motion is the perfect situation to do that.”
Born and raised in Freeport, MI, Jan presently resides in Panama City Beach, FL. She attended Butterworth School of Nursing in Grand Rapids MI, obtained a BSN from University of Michigan, and a MSN from the University of Texas. She presently works as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner at the Bay Medical Center in Panama City area. As a mother of four internationally adopted children, there is a special place in her heart for the children and families of the developing world.
Marcia McGinnis is a retired Paralegal/Legal Assistant affiliated with law firms in Texas and Colorado. She has been traveling with HIM since 2001. During her travels, she has been responsible for gathering and submitting necessary paperwork for team members traveling from the Houston area, assisted/coordinated in fundraising efforts for HIM, and coordinated special collections of donations for team members to take down with them to Guatemala.
During her trips, she saw a great need to bring eyeglasses to those we serve and was determined to find a way to make this happen. Since 2006 she has become our Vision and Eyeglasses Team Leader and has collected monetary donations for eyeglasses, measured prescriptions in eyeglasses and organized donated eyeglasses. She has also led vision clinics in Guatemala where she measures vision in and dispenses eyeglasses to clinic visitors. At the clinics, an average of 50 to 75 eyeglasses are given away each day, totaling 350 to 450 pairs of eyeglasses given away during a trip. Since 2006, the eyeglass team has given away an estimated 7200 pairs of reading glasses, prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.
Marcia has been a board member since 2005 and Board Secretary since approximately 2008.
Kathy Janisch is a Registered Nurse now retired from 21 years at Moreland OB-GYN and 14 years in L&D at Waukesha Memorial in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She is the Director of the Hearts In Motion Wisconsin office in addition to being on the Board of Directors of HIM.
Kathy is married to Dave and has two daughters Lindsay married to Aaron with two grandsons Max and Breytton and Jennifer married to Ryan with granddaughter Emerson and grandson Benson. She spends her relaxation time at her vacation home in the northeastern part of Wisconsin.
Kathy came on her first trip with her employer Moreland OBGYN and HIM in 2004 to do Cervical Cancer screenings. Kathy was so touched by the people of Guatemala and the work of HIM, she wanted to help continue the vision of HIM in the states. She started collecting clothing, school supplies and medical equipment to send to Guatemala. In 2005, the Wisconsin HIM office worked to start a major fundraising effort with sending groups of volunteers to work at the Milwaukee Brewer’s baseball games in the concession stands at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Over the years this program has made $1000’s of dollars to to finance the transportation of our valuable donations and continues to help send volunteers to Guatemala every year.
In 2008, the HIM Wisconsin office helped bring the first group of Nursing and Physical Therapy students from Carroll University, Waukesha, WI. Since then numerous universities throughout Wisconsin have been able to participate in these valuable educational experiences.
The Wisconsin office continues to seek out and collect donations of medical equipment and is heavily involved in organizing firefighter training and firefighter equipment donations throughout the Midwest states. Firefighters from Ecuador and Guatemala are happy to be able to take advantage of the wonderful donations of gear and the exceptional trainings given every year.
Barbara is a Registered Nurse currently working in Neonatal Intensive Care in Denver.
Barbara has been involved with Hearts In Motion since her first trip in 2005. She enjoyed working with HIM and returned yearly, then twice a year helping with medical clinics and whatever need or adventure arose. In 2012, she began using her extensive Nursing experience to teach the Helping Babies Breathe Program to Nurses, Comadromas (Midwives) and Firemen. Helping Babies Breathe Program gives Nurses, Comadromas, and Firemen skills to manage a newborn who is not breathing at birth along with basics of newborn care. Barbara looks forward to introducing the Helping Mothers Survive Programs in the near future.
Barbara feels very fortunate for the opportunity to help Guatemalans through volunteer work, as in Saint Luke’s quote “Where much has been given, more is expected”.
She has three adult children and resides in Colorado with her Spouse.
I am a recently retired pharmacist. For 37 years I ran three clinic pharmacies for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Racine, Wisconsin. I have been married to my wife, Molly, for 40 years and have three daughters. I am a new grandpa and love every minute of it. I went on my first trip to Guatemala with Hearts In Motion for my 50th birthday. I have since been on nine more trips to Guatemala with Hearts In Motion and 1 trip to Kenya with another organization. While on one of my trips to Guatemala I road in a pickup truck with Martin and lived to tell about it. For fun I like to play golf and play with my grandson.
Joff Morales currently works for a public utility company based in San Diego, California as a regulatory analyst. Joff has 10 years’ experience working in public accounting and internal auditing for various Fortune 500 companies. Joff was born in Swaziland and lived in Zimbabwe till he was 16 where he moved to the United States. Joff’s first involvement with Hearts in Motion was in 2015 on an OBGYN trip with his then girlfriend and now wife Laura who has been involved with Hearts in Motion for many years. Joff hope’s to build on Hearts in Motion reach in San Diego.
Margaret Moore has volunteered with Hearts in Motion since 2008. She began in general construction, moved to the eye clinic after receiving specialized training from the Lion’s Club, and now devotes most of her time in Guatemala to teaching Helping Babies Breathe classes. She has found her passion in non-profit work, in which she has organized volunteers, run online fundraising and registration campaigns, led large community events, tutored elementary school-aged immigrant children, advocated for immigrant’s rights, facilitated Helping Babies Breathe courses for healthcare students, and helped young people develop a lifelong love of international volunteerism. She and her husband live in Salt Lake City, and feel fortunate that their adult children live nearby.
Alyssa Jerdon Brett
Alyssa started volunteering with Hearts in Motion as a translator in 2007 when she was a sophomore at Arcadia University. Since then, she has been traveling to Guatemala yearly with Hearts in Motion and has been on close to 20 trips. In that time, she has had the opportunity to translate for every program run by Hearts in Motion. In 2014, she co-founded along with Hearts in Motion the Music in Motion program which is dedicated in loving memory of her brother, Ian. Over the years, Alyssa has not only volunteered but has organized many fundraisers to benefit Hearts in Motion. She also has brought groups of volunteers on trips to work on construction projects and with the Music in Motion program.
Alyssa currently resides with her husband, daughter and two dogs outside of Philadelphia. She is a former high school Spanish teacher and now works from home as a freelance translator. She is also director of the Music in Motion program.