Puerto Rico’s Resilience: Oct/Nov Update
When we announced on September 23 that a portion of the proceeds raised at our annual We Are Thrive fundraiser would support the rebuilding of Puerto Rico, we had no way of knowing how much would come in or even how specifically we would distribute it. All we knew for certain from our own experiences in NYC after 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy is the power of art to heal and foster resiliency in the hurting. So we decided to leverage an existing fundraising platform to support the recovery.
So far, we have raised just over $25,000 on behalf of the effort; collected and shipped a box truck full of relief supplies; and have led two trips to the island with a third scheduled next week.
Here are some highlights.
Relief Trips and Cash Grants
- 9/28/17 – 10/5/17
- 11/15/17 – 11/27/17
- Witnessed Puerto Ricans of all ages in every township rise above their own hardships and losses — including some who lost everything — to come together to distribute food, groceries, water filters, solar lamps, hygiene products, clothes, shoes, and so much more. They are also helping each other clean homes, repair roofs, care for the sick, and remove debris and fallen trees.
- Visited San Juan, Cayey, Arecibo, Ponce, Hatillo, Orocovis, Cacaos, Anasco, Isabela, Toa Baja, Rio Grande, San Mateo, Collores, Damian Abajo, Cacaos, Quebrada Larga, Coto Laurel, Morovis, Rincon, Hato Arriba, Dominguito, Carolina, Carrizales, Arenalejos, Miraflores, Sabana Seca, and Angeles.
- Networked with community leaders, pastors, and humanitarian relief groups to identify under-resourced families and communities.
- Collaborated with grassroots ministries and relief groups throughout the island, including: World Vision, Urban Strategies, Somebody Cares, Iglesia Evangelica de Amor (the Love Kitchen), Iglesia Cristiana Casa De Refugio, Iglesia Cristiana De La Familia, La Iglesia Del Centro, and Ministerio Cristiano Catacumba #5.
- Distributed $21,000 in cash grants to the following organizations (so far) to support their tireless work on behalf of their communities: Iglesia Christiana de La Familia (Coto Laurel); Iglesia Christiana Casa De Refugio (Bayamon); Ministerio Cristiano Catacumba 5 (Anasco); Iglesia Evangelio De Amor (Bayamon); Communidad Cristiana De Adoracion (Arecibo); Somebody Cares (Island-wide).
- Special thanks to Cornerstone Christian Church (NJ) and Abounding Grace Ministries (NY) for their extraordinary generosity, along with dozens of individual donors and families.
The video above highlights one of the distributions in Orocovis that Pastor Rick Del Rio participated in on November 18th. It was produced by Iglesia Cristiana Casa De Refugio, one of several local ministries and organizations we are proudly supporting to assist some of the most remote and under-resourced areas of the island.
This one shows distributions in Utuado and Jayuya by our partner La Iglesia del Centro de Arecibo. Watch them cross the river without a bridge to get food and water to their neighbors.
Relief Supply Drive (10/8/17)
- Partnered with Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center and DJ Trase to sponsor Mi Barrio Levanta a Puerto Rico.
- Collected a box truck full of food and water, together with Iglesia Evangelica Bautista.
- Shipped and distributed the supplies with the Spanish Eastern District Asambleas de Dios.
Pastor Rick will be returning to Puerto Rico on Monday, December 4th for the third time since the storm. Any donations marked for Puerto Rico will continue to go directly to those in need.