Merrill Family Assistance Fund

My sister and brother-in-law, Samantha and Bryson Merrill, have been through many trials over the last 3 months. Bryson has always had a dream to go to medical school. He was accepted to a medical school in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Samantha and Bryson decided it was what they needed to do. They took their 2 small children and moved to Puerto Rico in July. They had hired a company that was a more expensive but had promised they would have all their stuff in Puerto Rico by the middle of July. Middle of July came around and no stuff showed up. The moving company lied to them and their stuff didn't show up for 3 more months. They had to live off of what they took in their suitcases.  They were supposed to receive an Army scholarship to pay for medical school and it would give them a monthly stipend to live off of. Due to Hurricane Irma, the scholarship was pushed till later. They continued to live off of the very little money they had.

2 weeks ago their belongings finally made it to their apartment only to find out that 1/2 of their items were completely damaged/destroyed. They are fighting with the moving company to get money for the damage. The moving company is only offering them $500 and isn't claiming responsibility. 

Samantha and their two kids had already planned for since summer to fly back to Utah to go to a friend's wedding. Bryson stayed in Puerto Rico because of school. As we all know, Hurricane Maria hit last Wednesday morning. Samantha lost contact with Bryson at 1 am last Wednesday and did not hear from him until Saturday (9/23) in the afternoon. Over those days of no communication, she feared the worst. Bryson was walking down the highway in Puerto Rico yesterday when some friends they have made saw him walking and had him get in to take him to the only cell tower working in the whole country. He told Samantha that their town of Ponce was completely destroyed and to get him a flight out of the country ASAP. He has been sleeping the past few days and eating cold food out of cans.

They still have no money whatsoever and have lived out of their suitcases since July. With the prospect of no power in Puerto Rico for the next 4-6 months, they will not be able to return to their home until then and will continue to live out of their suitcases. They don't have a lot as far as clothes for themselves or their children and won't be receiving their scholarship for quite awhile.

Samantha and Bryson would never ask for help but they have nothing and do not know what is going to happen. They need to figure out how to live for the next few months. If you have $5 to spare please do, it will help this beautiful family pay for living expenses and make what has been a terrible 3 1/2 months a little lighter.

All funds donated will be given to Samantha and Bryson immediately!

Thank you!

  • Steve Olsen  
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Julie Lewis Tolman 
    • $25 
    • 49 mos
  • Laura Norton 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Megan Geilman 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
See all


Chris Harrison 
Lehi, UT
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more