Starting November 12th, 2017 – Hope Hero Andy Phelps spent his week assisting the people of Puerto Rico. Despite issues with shipping delays, bad weather, a flat tire, power outages, and a dog named Barbie. Andy’s week turned out to be a huge success! Providing recovery assistance to countless families through out Puerto Rico. Continue reading to learn more about his week as a Hope Hero.
Had a great time today, handed out water filters and LED flashlights to individuals and families while driving throughout different municipalities. Many of these people have not had power for 2 months and where delighted to finally be able to see at night!
Lights for Families
Driving Around PR
Lights for Families
Spent the day repairing a fence knocked over by a massive tree. The waitress at a local restaurant was emotional that her one eyed Great Dane Barbie. Who had been chained up for the past 8 weeks, because she can’t get her fence repaired! Not any more, now Barbie is free to run about and eat all the iguanas she can!
Buying the Fence
Fixing the Fence
Barbie Eating Iguana
Loaded up the Toyota Camry with cases of water from Home Depot in the morning and headed to Yabucoa. Got a flat on the road and had to take a detour to get it repaired. Got to meet with some Yabucoa officials while handing water and supplies out. All in all a great day!
Filling the Camry
Oh No Flat Tier
Handing out Water
Day 4 & 5
Headed back to Yabucoa to assist with the relief aid distribution with the local emergency management workers. Who are working out of the local hospital, or at least they are now. Was able to hand out multiple truckloads of aid and help people refill their water buckets. It is amazing how many people still needed help after 2 months.
Care Package Distribution
Long Lines For Aid
Filling Water Jugs
After a successful week in Puerto Rico, it is hard to leave. It has been nearly two months since hurricane Maria essentially destroyed the island of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (USVI). Words can not describe the enormity of destruction that Maria left behind. Plagued with power issues, lack of running water, and fears of being forgotten. The people of Puerto Rico are a resilient as they come. Most of those encountered where very thankful for any assistance we could provide. Some even offered to pay for the gifts offered.
Per initial assessment, is that most homes are mucked out or completely destroyed. If you had a wooden house before the storm, it’s most likely gone, cinder block homes appear to have taken a good hit as well. Concrete homes did best and regardless of the residents build type, windows and doors suffered most having been mostly destroyed. Now with electricity slowly being restored to the island, it is time for repair assessments to begin.
With the holidays rounding the corner, it is imperative that we remember the people of Puerto Rico, all 2.5 million of them and counting. The Hope Heroes are fully committed to helping bring hope reconstruct restore these communities recover recovery for many years to come and so can you!