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Nov 13, 2019

Two Years Later...The Work Continues!

Hurricane Anniversary Parade
Hurricane Anniversary Parade

Greetings friend!

Since our last update, an important anniversary passed in Puerto Rico. Now more than two years ago, two back-to-back hurricanes devastated the homes of thousands of residents on the island. Roofs were torn from homes, and heavy rainfall left streets inundated with water. A great deal of work remains to be done, but these communities have shown how resilient they are time and time again. It’s been an honor and privilege to stand by Puerto Rico through it all. 

All Hands and Hearts is still in Puerto Rico nearly two years after our teams arrived, more committed than ever to support the recovery of the families still reeling from the impact of these storms. As I mentioned in our last update, we plan to remain in Puerto Rico through the end of March 2020. Until then, our teams have a lot to do! 

September 20th was the two-year anniversary of the storms, and community members in Yabucoa (where our teams have been based for the past year) gathered to shed light on this important day. Our team joined the community and the local schools in a walk of remembrance, honoring the lives lost after the Hurricane. Winding through the neighborhood streets, they sang songs about resilience and proudly chanted “Puerto Rico se levanta”.

Beyond the work our teams are doing on homes, they continue to find community revitalization projects that we hope will help remind the families we work with that recovery is possible. In Yabucoa, this has meant repairing damage sustained to community centers, parks, and baseball fields. As we speak, teams are in the final stretch of work on Mendez Baseball Complex and Limones Baseball Field.    

To date, our team in Yabucoa has empowered 2,993 volunteers to make a difference in the lives of 7,719 people. With their hard work, more than 400 roofs have been repaired! 

Thank you for continuing to support the work we are doing in Puerto Rico - it means the world to us!  

Nov 7, 2019

Two Years Later...The Work Continues!

Anniversary Parade, Yabucoa
Anniversary Parade, Yabucoa

Greetings friend!

Since our last update, an important anniversary passed in Puerto Rico. Now more than two years ago, two back-to-back hurricanes devastated the homes of thousands of residents on the island. Roofs were torn from homes, and heavy rainfall left streets inundated with water. A great deal of work remains to be done, but these communities have shown how resilient they are time and time again. It’s been an honor and privilege to stand by Puerto Rico through it all. 

All Hands and Hearts is still in Puerto Rico nearly two years after our teams arrived, more committed than ever to support the recovery of the families still reeling from the impact of these storms. As I mentioned in our last update, we plan to remain in Puerto Rico through the end of March 2020. Until then, our teams have a lot to do! 

September 20th was the two-year anniversary of the storms, and community members in Yabucoa (where our teams have been based for the past year) gathered to shed light on this important day. Our team joined the community and the local schools in a walk of remembrance, honoring the lives lost after the Hurricane. Winding through the neighborhood streets, they sang songs about resilience and proudly chanted “Puerto Rico se levanta”.

Beyond the work our teams are doing on homes, they continue to find community revitalization projects that we hope will help remind the families we work with that recovery is possible. In Yabucoa, this has meant repairing damage sustained to community centers, parks, and baseball fields. As we speak, teams are in the final stretch of work on Mendez Baseball Complex and Limones Baseball Field.    

To date, our team in Yabucoa has empowered 2,993 volunteers to make a difference in the lives of 7,719 people. With their hard work, more than 400 roofs have been repaired! 

Thank you for continuing to support the work we are doing in Puerto Rico - it means the world to us!  

Community members participating in the parade
Community members participating in the parade
Oct 15, 2019

Two Years After Harvey, AHAH Is Still In Texas...

Site Supervisor Emily mudding a corner of a room
Site Supervisor Emily mudding a corner of a room

We are so pleased to deliver another exciting update to you about our active programs in Texas! Due to the generosity of our donors, and the added support of GlobalGiving's Hurricane Harvey funds, All Hands and Hearts has completed work on 79 homes between both of our programs, and are still in various stages of rebuild on 10 homes. We just welcomed a new group of AmeriCorps CitySquare members at each program last month, who have already proven to be assets to our team. They have expanded their knowledge of various phases of the rebuild process, such as drywall, flooring, and framing. This small yet consistent group is steadily building a strong skill-set and is evolving informally into an additional mentoring/leadership resource for our shorter-term volunteers (which will help sustain this incredible momentum). This means even more families moving back into their homes!

Since our last report, we have expanded on several of our local partnerships. All Hands and Hearts was selected for the University of Houston's Day of Service, and we successfully hosted 15 students. We are also working with the marketing team to build out continued engagement with the Center for Student Involvement. We also participated in East Harris County Empowerment Councils Harvey Recovery Tour, a public outreach tour, which facilitated connections between partner organizations and outward to those needing assistance.

Also during this quarter, we finished the pilot home for resilient design in tandem with other long-term recovery groups across Houston, and continue to implement these techniques in future rebuilds. We recognize that homeowners in Texas coastal regions are especially vulnerable to future storms, and we mobilize our repair process as an opportunity to empower homeowner resilience. Our strategy focuses on using water-resistant or waterproof products, addressing existing safety issues that may pose hazards, and distributing educational materials that will allow homeowners to be more prepared for any future disasters. We are continually discussing and developing these techniques with local partners to ensure that our strategy contributes to the larger vision of resilience in Coastal Bend and across Texas.

Thank you for all that you have helped us accomplish. Because of the generosity of GlobalGiving and donors like you, All Hands and Hearts has been able to help so many families who otherwise might not have been able to receive assistance. Amy, the owner of a recently finished house, expressed her gratitude: "For two years I was hoping and praying. Just to have your organization come and help us was like a miracle on earth. I feel like I don't deserve this, because so many other people need help too. A million thank you's are not enough."

 
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