Hurricane Maria Relief

Amidst all of the chaos associated with the multiple natural disasters over the last few months, it is so inspiring to see people reaching out to truly try and help those who have been impacted by these tragic events. Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico without power, without adequate resources, and without the ability to sustain the lives and wellbeing of millions of people.

The distribution of aid has proved to be problematic following the aftermath of the Hurricane, due to a lack of transport vehicles and blocked roads- among other reasons. Thousands of containers of supplies holding food, water, and other vital resources have been sitting at the San Juan Port, waiting to be distributed. While often times it can seem hopeless watching these disasters and extreme difficulties unfold, four women decided to take action to try and bring support to the millions of people in Puerto Rico, who we know need it so badly.

Susan Sarrett, Becky Bump, Joy Haycox, and Kathy O’Hara are the four women spearheading what has been referred to as an “informal relief mission”- dedicating their time and resources to bring necessities to the many devastated communities in Puerto Rico. This whole story began when Haycox traveled through San Juan to the Virgin Islands to assist in an animal rescue mission. Through this trip Haycox was introduced to a United Airlines employee named Sonia Morales, who assisted Haycox in getting to the Virgin Islands. Later, Haycox had the opportunity to return the favor by providing Morales with a camping stove (trying to, at least).

This modest request from Morales motivated these women to begin their mission. With the help of a taxi driver named Tony, they distributed their first batch of supplies to Puerto Rico residents.

These women brought along with them everything from tarps and batteries to strawberry jelly and with these simple yet vital items were able to touch the lives of many affected by Hurricane Maria. This team is planning yet another trip back to Puerto Rico to offer more assistance early next week, bringing with them more than 50 water filters from the Water Works program. The Water Works program is team building with a cause.  Penhall Company and Penhall Technologies came together to donate these water filters to help the residents of Puerto Rico who are still struggling for even the most basic necessity; water.

For more information on the Water Works program and how you can get involved- visit the link below.


The Virginian Pilot

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