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Help Me Help Puerto Rico

$6,311 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 64 people in 3 months
On September 20, 2017 at 6:15am Hurricane Maria made landfall on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, forever changing its landscape and the lives of the 3.5 million Americans that call the island home.  Hurricane Maria traversed the center of the island leaving a path of unimaginable destruction, including completely destroying the electrical grid leaving 95% of the island in the dark.  For Puerto Ricans on the mainland, like myself, the last month has been a mixture of worry for our loved ones still on the island, sadness, heartbreak, despair and a feeling of helplessness.  Puerto Ricans are very proud and loyal to our motherland and the “mancha de platano” (the stain from the plantain tree) can never be erased.  There is a saying we Puerto Ricans say “Boricua aunque naciera en la luna” which means that we are Boricuas (indigenous name for Puerto Rico) even if born on the moon.  What this ultimately means is that we are never not Puerto Rican and even if we have not been to Puerto Rico in years, she lives in our hearts every single day.  When we see our island and our people hurting and suffering, we must help. 

My goal is to go to Puerto Rico during winter break (from December 21st to December 28th) and volunteer both as a nurse and as a regular “get your hands dirty” volunteer doing whatever I can to aid in Puerto Rico’s recovery.  My plan is to purchase needed items that I can easily take with me like personal water filters, medications, and batteries and to bring cash to purchase items as needed for people while I am there.  I have been in touch with several organizations on the ground where I can go and sign up to help as a nurse or in other capacities as needed.   I am asking for your help in funding my volunteer trip to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, many of whom are still without potable water, electricity, nutritious food, medicine, or even a home.  I promise to use every penny donated to provide aid to the people of Puerto Rico.  Any amount big or small will help me get to Puerto Rico, secure a safe place to stay, rent a car, and hit the road for the short time that I will be there.  I cannot see myself enjoying the holidays here while my people in Puerto Rico suffer.  There is nowhere in the world that I want to be for Christmas this year than back home in Puerto Rico doing what I can to ease the suffering for them during the holidays.

Thank you in advance for your help.  You can follow my trip and the work I will be doing on Facebook.  I will give a full update when I return via Go Fund Me.

UPDATE:

Some people come into your life and you instantly know that you are going to be life-long friends.  That was the case with my best friend Julie Murray.  We met at a Gymboree baby class when our first-born children were about 6 months old.  We started a mother’s group after the class and have been through every stage of life together since then.  Julie is the kind of person that will literally give you the shirt off her back and she is my go to person when I need help with anything.  When she heard about my volunteer trip to Puerto Rico, she was one of the first to make a donation.  Recently we were talking and I shared with her how anxious I was about what I was going to experience in Puerto Rico and how it would be so much easier if, I had someone with me from our very tight knit circle.  Julie did not hesitate for a second and said, “I will go with you, I was hoping to go next year some time to volunteer but it would be so much more meaningful and productive to go with you.”  I could not believe that she would leave her family at Christmas to spend a week in Puerto Rico enduring hardship and hard work, but that is my Julie.  

Julie is not a stranger to Puerto Rico; she spent many years working as a contractor in the prison and jails there.  We (our mom’s group) even tagged along on one of her trips years ago and made a little get away out of her work trip.  Julie is Cuban and the culture, food and history of Puerto Rico has many parallels to Cuba.  Julie is fluent in Spanish, knows, and understands the culture and the needs of my beautiful island so I know that together we will be a force to be reckoned with on this trip. 

Please join me in thanking Julie for her selfless act of kindness towards the people if Puerto Rico.  Also, please share our Go Fund Me campaign with your friends and family.  The more we money we raise the more people we can help.
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Yesterday we had the pleasure of working with Love 4 Satos, a small dog rescue operation run out of the home of an amazing and kind woman. Mareli Llorens still does not have power and just got water a few days ago. Her home flooded during the hurricane and two huge trees fell in her backyard. None of that has deterred her from driving around the island picking up satos (stray dogs), getting them vet care, housing them and then working with other organizations to get them to the mainland where they can be adopted. We were honored to be able to buy her supplies to help her operation and to give her a hand while falling in love with all of the dogs, especially Scrappy!
This is Scrappy and we fell in love with him!
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Operation Christmas Day homeless outreach was in full swing yesterday. We spent Christmas Day putting together care packages for the homeless and driving around handing them out. Each bag contained basic necessities, nutritional snacks and a five dollar bill. ❤️
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yesterday we spent the bulk of our day working with the president of the school of dentistry from the University of Puerto Rico cleaning, sterilizing, organizing and taking inventory at a small community dental clinic that she started. On Tuesday a maxillary facial surgeon is coming to volunteer and everything needed to be ready to go in order to maximize his time here. The clinic secretary has a long list of people in need of extractions and oral surgery that have been waiting in pain for help. We were trilled to be able to help.
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Internet service is not great so I haven't been able to update. Know that we have been hard at work.

Yesterday was both rewarding and frustrating. We encounter so many road blocks (literally) and obstacles. A trip that would normally take an hour and a half took three hours. We saw so much devastation and ran into so many issues like closed stores, no electricity and water. In the end we were able to help some children that were identified by their teachers as being in need of some school supplies. I was also able to meet my nephew and his family for dinner after not seeing him in years, more on that later.
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$6,311 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 64 people in 3 months
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BR
$300
Bart Reese
1 month ago
MM
$300
M Murray
1 month ago
MD
$50
Marcelle Despradel
2 months ago (Offline Donation)
LH
$100
Lorrie Hinkle
2 months ago (Offline Donation)
MR
$100
Miriam Revilla
2 months ago
JN
$1,081
Jennifer Newfeld
2 months ago
SZ
$35
Susan Zaiontz
2 months ago
JB
$25
Jason Burns
2 months ago
CK
$50
Cherry kreutzer
2 months ago (Offline Donation)
JB
$50
Julie Buric
2 months ago
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