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PUERTO RICO HURRICANE UPDATE: YABUCOA, BARRANQUITAS & TOA BAJA (SEPTEMBER

2018)

DISASTER PROFILE On September 20th, 2017 Hurricane Maria’s 155 mph winds plowed through the island of Puerto Rico, resulting in one of the worst natural disasters in the island’s history. Hurricane Maria first made landfall over the municipality of Yabucoa, affecting the 37,000 residents who call it home. This area bore the strongest brunt of the storm, where hundreds of homes are still today in need of basic roof repairs. The mountain municipality of Barranquitas, in the center of the island, was also devastated by the storm and was nearly inaccessible due to landslides for weeks. The roughly 30,000 residents in this area continue to see a great need for roofing repair and mold sanitation. Moreover, Toa Baja (the 3rd location in which All Hands and Hearts is working) suffered through not only flooding from the hurricane itself, but the subsequent release of dams, resulting in flood waters over 10 feet high. OUR WORK Thanks to critical support from partners, like Medtronic and The Radcliffe Foundation, donors, local community, and volunteers from around the world, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response has run impactful programs since January 2018. Our work in Yabucoa and neighboring Humacao includes mucking and gutting, mold sanitation, roof repair and critical home repairs. We are also focusing on community spaces in need of clean up/repair and will be alongside the community on the long road to recovery. Our work in Barranquitas originally included mucking/gutting and debris removal, but has shifted focus to meet the overwhelming need for resilient roofing rebuilds and mold sanitation. Our work in Toa Baja continues to consist of sanitation and debris removal, in addition to meeting the need for concrete roof repairs. CURRENT ACTIVITIES (RECOVERY PHASE) As we continue our response work (mucking, gutting and sanitizing) in the neighboring town of Toa Baja, we have begun roofing repairs in Barranquitas (thanks to support from donors such as The Miami Foundation). We have also begun roof repairs, critical repairs and clean up on baseball fields and playgrounds in Yabucoa. Volunteers travel to job sites each morning and attend a nightly meeting recapping the day. With roughly 120 volunteers on the island at a given time, over 50 nationalities have been represented since January. More than 11 months after Hurricane Maria hit, Puerto Rico is still in dire need of assistance; we have made a commitment to help Puerto Rico recover and not only to replace what was lost, but to build back stronger than ever.


Homeowner Angel Alicea watches Jesse and Ben add the final touches on his newly completed roof. See a video highlighting our resilient roofing model here.

Volunteers break down and clear away a damaged second story structure on a home. The next step will be sealing this space to function as a resilient roof!

OUR IMPACT

3,898

PEOPLE IMPACTED

870

JOBS COMPLETED

1,646

VOLUNTEERS

16,716

VOLUNTEER DAYS

HOMEOWNER HIGHLIGHTS Angel Alicea, his family and the volunteer team come together after completing his newly rebuilt roof. Angel was overjoyed with Team Leader Ben and the team after the completion of his roof.

See here for a Homeowner Highlight with NBC New York, where we can see the impact on work has on homeowners every day. VOLUNTEER VOICES I thought I was coming here to expose my son to volunteerism and travel. Turns out, I was here because my Higher Power knew what I needed. As the "fat old lady," I expected to be the weak link on any team. I was afraid going into this that I wouldn't be able to keep up with everyone and do my fair share of the work. The young people on my team were so positive and encouraging. They used the week to build my confidence and made me feel that I could do anything. I don't know if it was just the group of amazing people we were with or it's always the AHAH experience, but the amount of love and support emanating through the salon was palpable. I have been very angry and depressed the last year or so, and quite fed up with humanity. When I say that this program renewed my faith in humanity, it sounds like an over-dramatic cliche -- but it could not be more true. The staff runs an amazing program. They are always available to answer questions and help you when needed. Sharing this experience with my son was amazing. It has changed us both. I will just repeat the words of another volunteer of my generation and say that my only regret is that I haven't done it sooner. - Elizabeth Koscinski (volunteer in Barranquitas)


OUR MISSION To effectively and efficiently address the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters. By listening to local people, and deploying a unique model of engaging volunteers to enable direct impact, we rebuild safe, resilient schools, homes and other community infrastructure.

OUR PUERTO RICO PARTNERS

5 YEARS IN A ROW! Only 10% of charities have received at least 5 consecutive 4-star ratings. This means All Hands and Hearts outperforms most of the other 1.5 million charities in America in operational and financial efficiency.

@ALLHANDSANDHEARTS

@ALLHANDSANDHEARTS

@ALLHANDSHEARTS

For additional information: Rebecca Connelly, Partnership Manager rebecca.c@allhandsandhearts.org or (508) 965-0787 www.allhandsandhearts.org

All Hands and Hearts Monthly Update - Puerto Rico (September)  

As we continue our response work (mucking, gutting and sanitizing) in the neighboring town of Toa Baja, we have begun roofing repairs in Bar...

All Hands and Hearts Monthly Update - Puerto Rico (September)  

As we continue our response work (mucking, gutting and sanitizing) in the neighboring town of Toa Baja, we have begun roofing repairs in Bar...

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