Greetings Friends and Family,
Things are slowly but surely improving on the island. Electricity continues to be restored to various parts of the island little by little and most are beginning to rebuild their lives and homes. With these improvements come new advancements and new challenges. One of the primary lessons in this process has been to remain flexible. Things often do not work how we plan. One of the biggest hurdles we have had to overcome has been supply chains. The ports are open; and deliveries have returned to somewhat normal. However, building materials have been in short supply and have gone quickly when available. Imagine confirming stock and 15 minutes later a good portion is gone because someone beat you to it. Labor availability has also proved to be problematic. February 14th and 15th Erin and Nelly spent driving to every possible hardware store on the southern side of the island trying to find what we needed to complete our list of building supplies. We are happy to report that we were able to procure every item on the list. We spent over $10,000 on supplies to repair 4 homes. So far, we have the installation of a rented cement mold and jacks -donated by 3MG- in place for a new roof. We will begin in the next week to repair a leaking cement roof and begin on our next project. We will begin repair on a house which 3 MG donated the new roof. The new roof requires that the structure be reinforced first, to ensure the integrity of the home Carlos and his crew will begin there. Finally, we will be repairing the final home upon completion of the third. Generally, each home owner has combined funds received from FEMA, insurance or other assistance programs with assistance from 3MG to complete the repairs needed. This has truly been a community effort in every sense of the word.
We were unable to successfully organize off-island volunteers and all of the work has been assumed by our group of volunteers on the ground who are also the recipients of the relief efforts assistance. We could not have achieved what were able to do without the tireless dedication of these individuals. We would like to especially thank Nelly Gonzales for her time and dedication in organizing labor, cooking for the troops and acquiring estimates on island. She has been incredible, and we are very grateful to her. Carlos, Nelly’s husband has been relentless and steadfast in his assistance in matters of carpentry, materials estimates, and technical expertise. We are so grateful to him for his leadership. Elsy Rodriguez for her assistance in the distribution of donated supplies to people in need both in Santa Isabel and in other interior areas still struggling. Nelson Rodriguez for his proactivity and willingness to assist in everything from delivery of supplies to organization and cooking. Thank you. Juan Jose Colon, Benjamin Alvarado, Ida Irizarry, Wilfredo Santiago, David Colon, Miguel Torres, have assisted us in completing our first project by dedicating time and labor. We are grateful to each of you. Each of these individuals have also benefitted from these relief efforts and they are grateful to those individuals who have donated funding to make this possible and want you to know that they are making the most of it as a unified group working together. Thank you, the donors, for without you this would not be possible.)
Everyone who has dedicated time and labor have also been those who were affected by the storm. It is truly humbling to witness the compassion and teamwork that is pushing this work forward. By mid-February we should have all the necessary materials and we will be in the process of repairing 4 houses.
We thank all of you for your donations and we want you to know that we are grateful for your generosity.
The 3MG Family