International Activist & Humanitarian
Danielle Butin, MPH, OTR is the Founder and Executive Director of the Afya Foundation, a medical supply recovery organization located in Yonkers, NY. Since its inception in late 2007, Afya has shipped several hundred 40-foot containers packed with recovered humanitarian and medical supplies to more than seventy countries globally. In 2014, the New York State Senate recognized Ms. Butin as a Woman of Distinction for her role in using local medical resources and volunteers to promote global health. In 2017, she was presented with the Woman of Distinction Award from the City of Yonkers. Read More >
TEDx: When Your Life Calling Calls Afya: There’s Always Another Way
2016 Steinhardt Commencement Speech
No matter how quiet one is, we each have a unique inner voice directing us to lead our best life. When we learn to really listen to it, this voice can cut through the noise of doubt and fear. It can also presents a path to true happiness and purpose. Eleven years ago, downsized by a Fortune 500 company, Danielle took a huge risk and flipped her expected life script by creating a global health organization that today has impacted hundreds of thousands worldwide. Join Danielle on an honest and humorous journey of trusting the sounds of self and summoning the courage that can ultimately lead to a life that fits and is rich in meaning. Her thought-provoking story will wake up the toughest inner critic and is guaranteed to inspire.
By inviting those who often receive care to help others, Danielle has successfully created a profound program for volunteers with intellectual, processing, and psychiatric disabilities, and for many who are challenged by the circumstances of their lives. Even those sentenced to probation following a criminal conviction give back in this uniquely designed and powerful program. As an Occupational Therapy Leader and Professor, she brings a lifetime of clinical experience to The Afya Foundation’s Volunteer Program. A global medical relief organization that couldn’t exist without them, Afya’s volunteers learn quickly in this altruistic environment that their lives matter and that they can live with purpose. Every person can make a difference, and at Afya, these volunteers proudly help to save lives all over the world while becoming their best selves. Be inspired by Danielle’s stories of how this investment led to unimaginable self-fulfillment and change in others. Let the success stories of others inspire you to lay down the welcome mat for the often overlooked and ready.
What if everything we’ve ever learned about how and where to find happiness is wrong? What if leaping into the unknown, and seemingly impulsive, is the landing spot where we can actually see what we’ve got? What if it’s there that we find happiness and can feel completely alive? When we stretch and become uncomfortable, what do we discover about ourselves? What version of self is found there? Join Danielle as she leads you through her firsthand experiences of such a leap. From the comfortable predictability of working as medical a professional in a Fortune 500 company to leading an international global health organization and working at disaster sites worldwide, she takes you with her, into the trenches of what was discovered along the way. Learn about finding happiness in life’s surprising corners, and how once it takes hold, it can stay.
“You can see it on someone's face when they have the passion to be a life changer. Danielle has it and lives her work. I love meeting women that empower and motivate when they speak. I look forward to speaking with her again and learning."
“Thank you for bringing your passion and inspiring all of us yesterday. You are by far the most inspirational speaker and my students talk about you for the rest of the term!
"The speaker Danielle Butin was so good that volunteers from Rotary are insisting they go to Afya to check it out! You never know what will be outstanding until you listen carefully to it, I find.”
"Great speaker, Danielle Butin, great cause sending medicines and medical supplies to places in the world where they are desperately needed.”
"Thank you for sharing your time, energy and insights with us last night. Your presence, and the work that you do through Afya, reminds us that we are agents of social change. Your worldview just expanded our lives and sense of potential."
“Danielle was exceptional, and her positive and constructive feedback were constant. Her passion and drive to help others function to their fullest potential in everyday life is contagious and inspiring.”
“Danielle’s personal story spoke to so many and her mission of helping those in need of critical care was truly amazing. Her speech was inspiring, passionate, motivational and certainly truly reflective of the person she is. Everyone in the room felt privileged to hear from her.”
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