Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Drive

In September 2017, Puerto Rico was hit with a Category 5 hurricane. Regarded as one of the worst natural disasters recorded in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage. It destroyed countless homes. It left the entire country without power and limited access to food and potable water. The U.S. territory is undergoing a humanitarian crisis.

All the New York churches of God participated in a multi-state effort along the East Coast to provide relief to our fellow citizens. Together with colleagues, classmates, and neighbors, Church of God volunteers in Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, New Windsor, Rochester, Syracuse, and New York City, collected non-perishable foods, medical supplies, and basic necessities. Local neighbors also joined the efforts to help families in Puerto Rico.

Thank You Luncheon in Long Island

In Long Island, volunteers even set up a photo booth with a backdrop of the Puerto Rican flag. Holding up a heart-shaped sign that read, “Animo” (Cheer Up), guests took family photos to take home. Others took photos with a coqui-shaped sign that read, “Puerto Rico Se Levanta” (Puerto Rico Rises).

Guests also enjoyed appetizers inspired by Puerto Rican culture. They were also served the famous Puerto Rican dish—chicken mofongo.

The volunteers’ efforts to help Puerto Rico in the aftermath of such a catastrophic disaster moved the hearts of everyone who attended.

“It’s very beautiful to be able to participate in this drive with the Church. It’s not only affecting Puerto Rico but all of us as a nation,” said one of the guests.

While watching videos of the work that volunteers are doing on the ground in Puerto Rico, another guest commented, “I wish I were there. I want to be a part of it. What the Church is doing is very inspiring—building Puerto Rico back up.”

This drive was tremendously successful. Because they share the same mind and eagerness to help the families who are currently suffering in Puerto Rico, the volunteers, their colleagues, friends and neighbors donated more than what was expected.