History & Founders
The mission of Serving Hands International (SHI) was born out of the deep compassion Terrence and Barbara Caster felt for people living in poverty. The Casters began their humanitarian efforts in 1963 with a focus to help their local community and Tijuana, Mexico, which shares the border with Terry and Barbara’s hometown of San Diego, California. In 1982 they founded Serving Hands International as a 501(c)(3) to serve the poorest of the poor. By working with local organizations that are closest to the poor SHI built strong partnerships with charitable groups in Mexico.
In 1988 the Casters were introduced to Mother Teresa. Serving Hands International began supporting her Mexico ministry and together they built an orphanage and shelter for homeless in Tijuana. More importantly Mother Teresa significantly influenced SHI’s mission to reach the poor not only with physical aid but also with spiritual aid. Although the Casters strongly believe in Mother Teresa’s exhortation of “…everyone to share in the joys of giving”, they do not fundraise or accept donations in her name.
SHI continued to build partnerships with ministries and charities focused on serving the poor in Mexico. Today we have over 43 partner organizations that provide a myriad of service. Currently, SHI works with a strong network of successful local charities that meet our standards for accountability and reliability. In this way we have developed one of the most extensive cross-border collaborations in the San Diego-Tijuana region. SHI has also branched out to support projects in other poverty stricken areas of the world including Africa and India.
Mr. and Mrs. Caster as well as their family continue to be very involved in Serving Hands International. The Casters have been happily married for over 61 years with eight children, 46 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren. In addition to founding Serving Hands, Mr. Caster was the Founder and Charter president of the Stadium Optimist Club. He also Founded and was President of the Stadium Toastmaster Club. In 1984, Mr. Caster helped a Rotary group with many members who are still active today. In 1993, Mr. Caster received Rotary International’s highest honor, the “Service above Self” award for his philanthropic efforts.