Last week, a day before the hurricane, I took one of the last flights out of P.R., six hours before the devastating hurricane came and changed our island forever.
I"m sure by now you have all seen the pictures coming out of the island which, to say the least, is heartbreaking.
As of last week, most of our 40 employees were still without electricity and water from hurricane Irma. In spite of their hardships, they came to work every day with a smile on their face and did their jobs as usual.
As we closed up our warehouse and said goodbye to them it was the oddest feeling. On one hand you’re happy to be going home where you will be safe and with your family but on the other hand, you feel a strong sense of sadness that you are running off and abandoning them.
As the pictures came in, I recognized every street, places I have dined, houses of friends where I have slept, and hole-in-the-wall places where we have danced salsa, had rum and coke or a Medalla.
Puerto Rico has been home to so many of my good memories, and possibly to some of yours as well, and I want to return the favor in a small way.
If you are a praying person and that’s what you do, please do it, but I feel Puerto Rican people need hope, hope that is tangible, hope that comes in the form of a helping hand. Someone to tell you it’s going to be ok that we will rebuild. Slowly and painfully, but we will.
SO I HAVE AN IDEA!
When Irma hit us it wasn’t a direct hit but the electricity and water was still off for about 70,000 people and that was two weeks after it hit. I am guessing with this last one some people will be without electricity and water for 6 months to a year! I would like to start by setting a goal of buying 25 generators and then ship them to P.R. I feel these generators would give some sense of relief to families who can’t afford one or simply can’t get one. Something to plug a couple fans, fridge, and a T.V into. A small relief to the misery I’m sure they are feeling.
Here in Jacksonville, my company uses a shipping company to ship our products to P.R. We do have the contacts that would make sure these generators would get to us. Once they are there, I would hand deliver them to families with children and to others who have the greatest need. This would be in some of the hardest hit areas which are out of the metro area as these are areas that usually get their electricity back last.
I will be setting up a Gofundme page to where every cent that I get will go to buy the generators. There will be shipping charges and maybe some taxes to get them to the island but I will do all I can to make the money stretch so we can get as many as we can. I will be going to a couple companies today to be looking at what is best and to see if I can get a bulk price.
From what I’ve seen the cost would $300-$400 per unit, which puts the goal to raise around $10k. If we can do more I will get more. I do have one other request. Please repost this it so as many people as possible will see it. From the bottom of my heart and with all 25 families that will receive this thank you.
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