Endeavors’ devoted Disaster Case Managers are volunteering their time for the Puerto Rico earthquake relief effort.
An Island In Crisis
For many people, the New Year is an opportunity for new beginnings, resolutions, and revitalized hope. But for millions in Puerto Rico, 2020 came with a rocky start. January 7th brought a 6.4 magnitude earthquake through the main island, shaking Puerto Rico to its core. While Puerto Rico sits in a tectonic hotspot that has seen thousands of earthquakes over the centuries, it has not experienced a quake of this size since 1918. To say residents were caught off guard is an understatement.
Still rebuilding after the colossal devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans were once again cut off from essentials like water, food, and medical care. USA Today reported that power was knocked out for nearly the entire island, affecting three million people. The earthquake left a trail of aftershocks that hit magnitudes as high as 5.0 and destroyed hundreds of homes, leaving some 7,500 people homeless and without shelter. Some have been able to find a safe place to sleep; others were forced to camp out in cars and tents.
How Did Endeavors Employees Join The Relief Effort?
Since Endeavors Puerto Rico has been working on the ground to rebuild communities hit by Hurricane Maria, our Disaster Case Management teams saw first-hand the devastating effects of the earthquake. Even though the initial disaster relief efforts are being spearheaded by FEMA and the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau, our staff knew they couldn’t stand by and watch. They had to act.
Led by Endeavors Puerto Rico Resources Coordinator Grace Herger and Program Manager Carlos Cubero, the team in Caguas decided to spend their weekends and off days volunteering with the relief effort.
Our staff coordinated partnerships with the Puerto Rico Association of Hotels and Tourism to collect blankets, pillows, and bedding from area hotels like Courtyard by Marriott and the Wyndham Rio Mar Hotel. They also secured donations of food and water from Freshmart. Armed with boxes of donated essentials, our team personally delivered supplies to earthquake victims in the Guanica area.
“Our personnel showed tremendous care and compassion in delivering supplies,” Endeavors COO Chip Fulghum commented. “A special thanks goes out to Grace Herger and the team in Caguas for making a huge difference for those who are suffering.”
How can you help Puerto Rico?
Endeavors invites you to make a difference by donating to our Disaster Relief Drive. Every donation — no matter the amount — makes a vital impact on the people of Puerto Rico. Every $3.00 donation can provide a family of four with enough bottled water to stay hydrated for two days.
About Endeavors Puerto Rico
Although Endeavors staff are currently serving earthquake victims as volunteers, Endeavors Puerto Rico is a nonprofit organization that provides Disaster Case Management and Emergency Relief Services for areas affected by federally declared disasters. With four offices throughout Puerto Rico (San Juan, Ponce, Arecibo, and Mayaguez), Endeavors supports a wide range of communities by creating individualized recovery plans for individuals and families and teaming up with local and national partners to secure services and provide resource referrals for our clients. We’re here to find immediate and long-term help for people when they don’t know where to turn.