2020 Medical Mission Announcement



LAUGHH (Live Abundantly Using Guided Helping Hands) is pleased and excited to announce its SEVENTH medical mission to Bucaramanga, Colombia in June 18-26, 2020. Applications are open Oct 1, 2019. Our intention is to have positions filled by November 30. The sooner you apply, the better your chances of being a part of the team. Updates will be sent as the team is created. If you apply and are identified as a team, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you block your time to participate. We are very limited to include very essential participants, so YOU are critical to our success. Late cancellations can cripple parts of this mission.

The mission will be led by Gisella Alvarez, RN – Team Leader and Dr. Bruce Sands – Medical Director. This mission will be a Primary Care Mission with an additional focus on Wellness Education specifically around nutrition and healthy lifestyles. We will continue serving the very poor people living in the State of Santander.

There are a lot of details to work out. We are working to solidify the commitment of all members of the team. We have limited spots for practitioners and non-clinical personnel for this mission. Our policy is to speak with all new volunteers prior to joining the mission team. Our goal is to have solidified the team before January 1, 2020.

This is a Primary Care Mission. We are looking for volunteers for the following positions:

  • WOUND CARE: (2)
  • NURSES: (8)
  • RUNNERS: (8)
  • IT: (2)

In addition, we will need the support from non-clinical volunteers to help as runners, section organizers, clinical support staff and in education.


BUCARAMANGA, the capital of Santander State, is a city of approx 800,000. We will most likely be serving the communities of nearby towns where there is much need. A new state government will be elected in November and we will work with the new First Lady to determine locations. We will be serving the very poor of these areas. The people have little to no resources for medical care.

Colombia does offer a basic medical care system to all Colombians. The system is quite complicated, cumbersome and when it comes to real need, the people don’t have access to the kind care they need.


THU 6/18/20: Travel day and PM arrivals.

                       All team members MUST arrive      

                       by Thursday night.

FRI 6/19/20: Sorting of supplies.

                      USA team meeting.                                                                                      

SAT 6/20/20: USA / Colombia team meeting.        

                       Final preparations.

                       Check out of Hotel Chicamocha

                       Early PM departure to clinic area.

                       Check into the hotel in clinic area.

                       Final set up.

SUN 6/21/20: Clinic #1- (Towns to be determined)                                

MON 6/22/20: Clinic #2 – (Town to be determined)

TUE 6/23/20: Clinic #3 – (Town to be determined) WED 6/24/20: Day off

THU 6/25/20: Clinic #4 – (Town to be determined)                               

FRI 6/26/20:  Clinic #5 – ½ day  

                       Pack up

                       Travel to Bucaramanga.

                       Check back in at Hotel Chicamocha

                       Sort supplies, donations, inventory

                       Chiva night!

SAT 6/27/20: Travel back to US day for some (shopping and touring day for others)


SUN 6/28/20:   Travel back day for others



$ 1500 – $2000/ person approx. Covers airfare, hotel and some meals. Breakfast is provided at the hotel and is included in the room charge. Clinic day lunches are covered by the host town. You will be individually responsible for most dinners and any other meals.

In addition, there is a $25 application fee and each team member will be asked for a minimum donation of $100 US dollars to help cover the cost of the medications and supplies for our patients. Donations greater than $100 are welcome. If you would like help in setting up a personal page for fundraising, we can help. LAUGHH is totally dependent upon donations to advance our missions.


As you would expect, airfare is going to be the biggest expense. Prices can fluctuate from $700 to $1000, depending on your departure city.

There are many options when flying to Bucaramanga (BGA), so your best bet is to look at different airlines. In addition to the US carriers, try the following South American carriers: TACA, Avianca, LATAM, and COPA. When you travel with a combination of a US carrier and a South American carrier, look at their alliances (One World vs Star Alliance). This alliance will make a BIG difference when it comes to your suitcases being checked straight through to your final destination, Bucaramanga (BGA). Otherwise, you will have to claim your bags in Bogotá, proceed through Customs and then re-check your bags at the ticket counter. This time delay can make a big difference if you have a tight connection. Colombia is probably the only country where you can skip customs all together if you fly with the right airline combination.

DO NOT travel with Spirit Airlines, their baggage limit of one (1) bag / passenger traveling to Colombia does not allow you to take any supplies. Each team member will be carrying one (1) suitcase of supplies to Colombia.


Hotel Chicamocha: (www.hotelchicamocha.com) Sharing rooms, 2-3 people per room ($60 – $65 US / day / person). Price may be less depending on how strong the dollar is at the time of hotel payment.

A breakfast buffet is included. This is a nice hotel and they take good care of us. You will be very comfortable, and we are sure you will enjoy your stay here.

The hotel(s) in clinic cities are smaller with clean, basic rooms. Sharing rooms between 3-4 people will be the norm.


Colombian food is a good value with heaping portions of fresh, local ingredients. Dishes are varied and tasty, with a regional twist. Bucaramanga has countless places to eat, ranging from street stalls to well-appointed restaurants. If you are a steak person, you will be very happy here. If you are a vegetarian…… you may not be so happy. We do our best to accommodate most diets so please let us know if you have special needs.


Here is the link to our application:

We look forward to building a great team. We hope you will consider joining us and helping us make a difference!

Francie Stoner –Founder and President

Bruce Sands – Medical Director

Gisella Alvarez, RNC – Clinical Coordinator




LAUGHH Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions to the LAUGHH Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.




You did it! Thank you! Now over $31,000!

What a great evening! The energy was palpable! And the generosity was flowing! 

There was a buying battle going for the gorgeous Herb Garden Centerpieces donated by Eric and Heather Tow!

And the Buy-it-Now for the fabulous walnut serving boards crafted and donated byCliff Wieser, Steve Folck and Kiah Harris was executed big time!

We had so many wonderful donations! Chris Hiatt, our infamous auctioneer, was in rare form and raised a record amount! And he kept the group LAUGHHing the entire time!  

Our volunteers were amazing! They worked tirelessly to make the event great! THANK YOU!!!  

A very special moment came after Gisella Alvarez, our clinical coordinator, told the story of one of our mission towns hoping for extra wheelchairs this year because they only had a loaner chair that they shared on an emergency daily basis. We posed a challenge to see how many wheelchairs could be donated and 2 of our teenaged volunteers went table to table to get names and bidding numbers for those who wanted to make a difference there at $150 a chair… 25 wheelchairs later – WOW!    

Thank you to all who shared in this event – donating items, time, money and giving encouragement! What a difference you are making!

One of our guests on leaving said that the LAUGHH evening is so important to him, that he “feels so vital every year!” It made my heart sing!
Let the Blessings continue!  
If you want to jump in, there is still time! 
I want to add to the success!

President and Founder  
Laughh Foundation
720 4TH ST
Weston, MO 64098

2014 Fundraiser Celebration!

Registration limited to FIRST 100, SO REGISTER NOW!

Can’t make it?  You can still help out by Registering Now and selecting I am not able to attend but would like to help with a donation

You can also find our EVENT ON FACEBOOK

Special Thanks to All Sizes BBQ for their fabulous BBQ! And to Mike Lammers and his team for their incredible sponsorship and encouragement (Might have been a ‘PUSH’) Love them, and so will you!
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Saturday September 13, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM CDT

Cellar 222
222 West 20th St
Kansas City, MO 64108

Featuring: World class, award winning BBQ and a silent auction where you can get your own Virtual Bee Hive – get your own honey and help solve the Bee Decline Dilemma! and MORE!!!

Thank you! Your support will change lives!

Call us!

Kansas City Casual
(Yep, jeans are OK! We´ll be eatin´ BBQ!)

5-6 pm
Cocktails and Silent Auction
6-7 pm
World Class BBQ Dinner
Silent Auction (closes at 7 pm)
Dessert and Program

Our next medical mission to Colombia is July 10-19, 2015. Help us do it again!

2014 Mission Destinations: Lebrija, Piedecuesta, Giron, and Berlin

Bucaramanga by night

Bucaramanga by night

Francie, our founder and president, accompanied Gisella, our medical coordinator, on an exploratory trip to the small cities near our mission home base of Bucaramanga, Colombia.  Gisella is from Bucaramanga and has led mission trips to the area for many years.

Our missions have the support of local medical leadership and we are welcomed by the First Ladies in the region, who are happy to support health care and education for their most needy people.

Lebrija school

A school in Lebrija that will serve as our clinic.

We are adding a key feature to our missions to plant seeds of change and improve health outcomes through education.  We will give nutrition consults to every patient and encourage exercise by conducting exercise classes at the clinic sites.  In addition, each patient will receive vitamins, a toothbrush, fluoride painting (for the kids) and those in need will receive eye exams and glasses.

We will visit Lebrija, Piedecuesta, and Giron on the outskirts of Bucaramanga and travel up to Berlin at 10,000 feet.



The clinic in Piedecuesta.

The clinic in Piedecuesta.

The clinic in Giron.

The clinic in Giron.

We have a new look!

With all the new positive energy surrounding LAUGHH Foundation and our growing programs, it was time to take a step back to better understand who we are, who we want to be and why we are driven to do what we do.

As we began that process, we worked with Mike at Fervor to really get down to the nitty-gritty and through those conversations, our new logo evolved.  How do you evoke the healing action of laughing with a logo?  Mike and his team figured it out!  Our new logo features a red helium balloon.  Can’t you just see the JOY and hear the belly laughter of a child with a new red helium balloon LIFTing towards the heavens?  The string and the bottom of the balloon look like an arrow pointing UP – just the way we want to go and lead others.

LAUGHH is an acronym that stands for Live Abundantly Using Guided Helping Hands.

LIVE:  Live!  Live well, with joy and laughter.  Use the healing powers of laughter to your advantage.

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

ABUNDANTLY:  We are blessed and believe we must share our abundance with others.  We are inspired by John 10:10:

“I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.”

USING:  Our gifts are many; we must put them to good use.

“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”  Luke 12:48

GUIDED:  We believe a higher power is guiding us through the creation of LAUGHH and its programs.  We continue to ask for inspiration and guidance as we grow and evolve.

HELPING: We aspire to help others through our programs, to LIFT those who need a hand UP and not a hand out.  We want to give those in need an edge to improve their lives, whether it be an improvement to their health and wellness or to a young person’s professional future.

HANDS:  Hands provide a connecting point for us all. With our hands we deliver manual labor, a healing touch, a strong, confident handshake. With our hands we hold the string to a red balloon as it lifts towards the heavens. St. Theresa of Avila tells us:

“Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.”

Thank you, Mike and the gang at Fervor!  You rock!

We love our new look and hope YOU do too.