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Jan 6, 2020

We'll see you again soon!

Happy New Year from All Hands and Hearts! 

It is hard to believe that we are already into the month of January, now two weeks after our incredible Hurricane Michael Recovery Program came to a close. This program was so special to our staff and volunteers, and I can only hope we have done an adequate job of sharing a piece of that with you. Thank you for sticking with us from the beginning, and for choosing to support our efforts in Bay County - to say we will miss this resilient community would truly be an understatement. 

Even as we celebrate the impact our team has made over the past year, we recognize the great need that still exists in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. For this reason, we are working hard to procure the funding which will allow us to reopen a response program in Jackson County this April. Stay tuned for more information!

For the 18 homeowners and their families we were able to reach during this most recent phase, our work has meant their ability to move back into fully repaired homes safely and comfortably. We are forever grateful to have been a part of that experience, and for your support which helped make it possible.  

Our final project, which took place at a local Boys and Girls Club facility, is one that we hope will bring a splash of color into children’s lives for years to come. After determining that the facility needed the external walls to be patched and painted, our teams decided to get creative and design a project plan that would allow the kids that attend this facility to have a hand in the repair work. The team designed a beautiful mural for the primed wall, which some club attendees helped us paint! It was an incredible opportunity to do something special for the CEO, his team, and the kids they serve every day. To read more about the project, check out this link

We are proud to report to you that our team in Florida empowered 577 volunteers to make a difference in the lives of 805 people. We look forward to updating you as we work to re-open this spring! 

On behalf of everyone at All Hands and Hearts, thank you.

Links:

Dec 2, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving From The Bahamas!

Greetings Friend,

Thank you for supporting the work All Hands and Hearts is doing in The Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian made landfall on September 1st, leaving behind overwhelming levels of destruction and severely disrupting the lives of children and their families. Our teams have practically just begun, but we are pleased to say that great strides have already been made in the name of progress. 

Our staff arrived on the ground in Nassau on September 9th, immediately building local connections and conducting assessments in order to determine where we could truly make a meaningful impact. Volunteers arrived on October 1st, and the work has been progressing smoothly ever since. Due to logistical challenges and mass evacuations, our focus has primarily been on repairing schools, clinics, and community structures that will help establish a stronger sense of normalcy for those that remain on the island and for those hoping to return soon.

After a disaster like Hurricane Dorian, we find that local residents and governing bodies can be skeptical of incoming aid organizations like ours and the trustworthiness/quality of work that can be expected. We are happy to say that as word spreads about both our high quality of work and our determination to stay as long as possible, more doors are opening for us to make a positive impact in the lives of those impacted by this disaster. 

This month, our staff and volunteers were grateful to be able to share a Thanksgiving meal with community members, and the team from World Central Kitchen (an organization also working on the Island), reflecting on the fact that even in times of difficulty there is so much to be thankful for. Because of the generous support we have received from GlobalGiving and donors like you, we are on track to continue working in The Bahamas for at least two years. Thank you!

So far, our teams have worked on 17 sites, positively impacting 898 people.

We look forward to updating you again soon on our progress. Warm thoughts and Happy Holidays from the entire All Hands and Hearts team 

Thanksgiving with community members and WCK
Thanksgiving with community members and WCK
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!  

 
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