Danielle N Butin, MPH, OTR-Founder, CEO
Danielle Butin’s life changed with an epiphany on the plains of the Serengeti. At the time, she had no idea it would change millions of other lives, too. But she did have one simple, compelling idea.
Seeing a lack of medical supplies costs lives in Africa, and knowing as a former healthcare executive in the US that federal regulations cause huge wastage of resources, Ms. Butin thought to match surplus to need. So in 2007, she founded the Afya Foundation—a Yonkers, NY-based nonprofit that rescues unused medical supplies and delivers them locally and globally to save lives.
By saving vital supplies from landfills and fighting healthcare inequities, Afya delivers for people and the planet. As a result of its impact, Ms. Butin has been recognized by the New York State Senate as a Woman of Distinction, the Voices of African Mothers, the Clinton Foundation, and the United Hospital Fund for Puerto Rico relief efforts; and Afya has twice received the Westchester National Disability Employment Awareness Award for innovative employment.
Ms. Butin started her career as an occupational therapist for many years, before ascending the corporate ranks at United Health Care and Oxford Health Plans. Ms. Butin drew on her background as an OT when founding Afya, ensuring that older adults, young adults with ASD and IDD, veterans, incarcerated men and women, and others too often excluded from philanthropy were welcomed as volunteers; today she still oversees 50 graduate occupational therapy students’ fieldwork at Afya each year. To date, Afya has shipped millions of pounds of rescued humanitarian and medical supplies to 80 countries, and today it touches approximately 1.5 million lives annually.
Today, what originated as an epiphany is now an entity employing 30 and saving lives close to home and worldwide. This remarkable true story has been featured on the Katie Couric Show and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Real Simple, Family Circle, and Town and Country, and is now recounted fully in Ms. Butin’s new book “Wild Hope Now.”
“Wild Hope Now” shares the singular story of Afya, opens our eyes to how we can change lives by letting hope run wild, and is available for purchase via Afya’s website now at https://afyafoundation.org.