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Caribbean Hurricane Relief

by All Hands and Hearts
Caribbean Hurricane Relief
Caribbean Hurricane Relief
Caribbean Hurricane Relief
Caribbean Hurricane Relief
Caribbean Hurricane Relief
Caribbean Hurricane Relief
Caribbean Hurricane Relief
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

Happy summer from All Hands and Hearts! 

It is hard to believe that we are already into the month of August, quickly approaching what will be the two year anniversary of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  Our programs have changed so much since 2017, our teams completing impactful work that we have been so happy to share with you. Thank you for sticking with us from the beginning, and taking the time to hear what’s new with All Hands and Hearts. 

Work in Puerto Rico is continuing, and we have very exciting news about our Yabucoa program: we have extended! AHAH will remain in Puerto Rico until March of next year! To date, our teams have repaired 356 damaged roofs and worked on a total of 452 sites. Every day our field teams see that there are so many that still need our help, and we are eager to continue reaching as many families as we can.

I have some more bittersweet news for you this quarter, as our St. John program has officially come to a close. To say we will miss the wonderful people of this island is an understatement, and we feel fortunate to have stayed for a total of 18 months.  During this time our teams positively impacted 8,973 people, after completing 1,470 jobs. To celebrate, our teams joined community members for an evening together in Coral Bay to reflect on their time on the island and say their goodbyes to the home they had come to know and love. 

A few words from our Program Director: 

“As difficult as it will be to say goodbye, this experience is one that we will never forget.

As they say on the island.... everything's fine. Much love”.

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

Farewell St. Thomas
Farewell St. Thomas

Hello Donors!

Since our last update, progress has been great on each of the active programs in the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, teams have been working hard removing mold and repairing roofs on homes that sustained storm damage. Staff members have begun a countdown as they are only 9 roofs away from celebrating 300 roof repairs finished in Puerto Rico! There is a lot of work left to do before the struggling communities of Puerto Rico can reach a full sense of recovery, and it truly is an honor to participate in the ongoing efforts to make full recovery a reality.

Our teams have been in St. John for 14 months, conducting response and recovery work at a rapid pace! So far, teams have completed our rebuild scope of work on 13 homes! These 13 homes are part of the 282 total homes worked on since the program began, touching the lives of 1,130 people. We will include links below for stories from the field in both Yabucoa and St. John where you can read more personal stories about the work our teams are doing in both locations.

Finally, I report to you the bitter-sweet completion of our truly phenomenal St. Thomas program, which officially closed on April 30th. We are so proud of the entire team of staff and volunteers that worked in St. Thomas over the entire program timeline (which began in September of 2017). We are so grateful to you, and GlobalGiving, for supporting our efforts on this beautiful island from day one and for helping us stay as long as we did. After completing the revitalization of the Alvin McBean Recreation Park, our teams saw no better way to celebrate than to host a community ballgame. The efforts of our St. Thomas team yielded the completion of 930 jobs, benefiting over 6,000 people! Thank for following our progress for the past 19 months, and for showing you care about the wonderful people of St. Thomas.

We will continue to update you about our work in Puerto Rico and St. John on this page, as well as our isolated USVI page. Thank you for your continued support of All Hands and Hearts!

A volunteer hard at work
A volunteer hard at work
A volunteer in St. John
A volunteer in St. John

Links:

Students at Morne Prosper
Students at Morne Prosper

Hello Donors!

Since our last update, though only a few months ago, we have quite a bit to share with you! Our teams have been working hard on the recovery programs in Dominica, St. Thomas, St. John, and Puerto Rico.

In the USVI, our teams are continuing to work closely with community partners like My Brother’s Workshop to make sure we assist as many people as possible. Gradually, the scope of work is becoming more recovery based. With every project our teams complete, whether it’s roofing, mucking and gutting, school retrofitting, or even the installation of mold resistant materials into homes, our beneficiaries take one more step closer to fully realized recovery. To date, over 7,226 people have been positively impacted by our work here and, with your generous and ongoing support, we are excited to see this number continue to grow. In Puerto Rico, our teams are adjusting as we experience a couple of exciting program changes. After over 66,712 combined volunteer hours, programs wrapped up in Barranquitas (on December 21st) and Toa Baja (on January 7th). Even as these programs close, we are thrilled that our work in Puerto Rico will continue through September 2019 as our teams work hard to put hurricane resilient roofs on homes and complete some special community projects as well.  

As mentioned in our last update, we have designated isolated pages on GlobalGiving for both our work in the USVI and Puerto Rico where you can find the most up to date information on the work we are continuing to do in both places. For this update, we would like to specifically highlight our work in Dominica, which has officially wrapped up!

Finishing our program in Dominica is bittersweet for all of us at All Hands and Hearts, but we are extremely proud of what our field teams were able to accomplish on the Island. During our time in Dominica, and in addition to storm resilient roof work and a wonderful community project (the Liveier Tadour Water Source project), five schools were completed helping 170 students return to safe and comfortable learning environments. Most recently, we were able to celebrate the completion of Charlotte Pre School (finished January 19th) and Morne Prosper Primary and Pre Schools (both finished January 10th). One of our volunteers, Tim, is a Landscape Architect by trade and put his skills and knowledge to good use at the Morne Prosper project. After the completion of the structural work for both the Primary and Pre-School, Tim designed and implemented some wonderful ideas with a group of volunteers, aptly named “Team Awesome”. His plans included a cricket field, an octagonal bench surrounding a large (Delonix regia) tree, a large staircase linking the lower ground to the new school buildings, and a community garden in the shape of a flower (each petal offering a space for every grade to grow plants and vegetables to represent Morne Prosper as an agricultural village).These beautiful additions acted as a small farewell gift to the communities in Dominica, and will serve as a reminder to the children of Morne Prosper what is possible when they work together! At the center of this  work were “Build Back Better” techniques, used to ensure that the schools and roofs are resistant against future hurricanes and earthquakes. Having worked closely with the Ministry of Education, other NGOs, the schools and the local communities, this essential work created much safer homes and more appropriate learning environments, which also serve as evacuation shelters for the surrounding communities. Attached below, please find a short video capturing what our teams were able to accomplish in Dominica. We are forever grateful for the overwhelming support we received from you, the GlobalGiving community, to continue this vital work.

From all of us at All Hands and Hearts, thank you!

Morne Prosper (Completed)
Morne Prosper (Completed)
Morne Prosper (Completed)
Morne Prosper (Completed)
A community member thanking a volunteer
A community member thanking a volunteer

Links:

One of our finished schools: Paix Bouche Preschool
One of our finished schools: Paix Bouche Preschool

After one year in the Caribbean, we are excited to provide a comprehensive update on what has been accomplished, and also direct your attention to a wonderful new school project in the works in Dominica! This program page will remain active through the end of the year as our volunteers work hard to complete Charlotte Preschool, providing a safe and resilient learning space for more than 400 students over the next ten years! As the year comes to a close, please consider helping us reach our fundraising goal and help make this wonderful school a reality in Dominica!

For those interested in following our continued work in this region of the world,  we are happy to report that our work in Puerto Rico and the USVI will proceed into the following year. We are honored to share that our USVI team has received recognition from Senator Forde for its lasting commitment to the communities in St. Thomas, and St. John. Our team is starting its fifth school repair in St. Thomas, as response work continues in St. John. We are so grateful that generous donors like you are helping this important work move forward!

Program Purpose: To address the unmet needs of communities affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, in order to improve short-term and long-term chances of recovery. This program, covering several islands in the Caribbean, was developed due the sweeping nature of damage caused by the back-to-back storms. The US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Puerto Rico were some of the hardest hit areas, each containing communities that had been overlooked and were often difficult to access. This program worked to address the unique needs of each location, aiding families in the processes of mucking, gutting, and mold sanitizing. When possible, our teams also aided in strategic recovery; they helped the same populations rebuild and repair in ways that will last for years to come. All Hands and Hearts has helped reconstruct permanent facilities for damaged or destroyed schools and homes. At the end of our long term commitments, we hope to have returned hundreds of children and families to a sense of normalcy and comfort in the face of destruction and loss.

Progress: The contributions from you, the generous GlobalGiving donors, made all the work All Hands and Hearts has done over the past year in the Caribbean possible. We are  pleased to be able to deliver near-final reports on our work in Dominica and Tortola, evidence of the incredible impact you have had in the lives of hundreds of children and families. Because All Hands and Hearts is still hard at work in USVI and Puerto Rico, we believe  each should have a spotlight of its own. This report will update you on results to date, but also encourage you to follow our new, stand alone USVI and Puerto Rico pages on GlobalGiving to learn about our recovery goals for those US territories.

In Dominica, All Hands has been focusing its efforts on rebuilding schools and repairing residential roofs. Our first project - rebuilding Paix Bouche Primary and Pre School in St. Andrew Province - is complete. After a festive handover ceremony in August, students and staff are officially able to enjoy their new space. We are now rebuilding Morne Prosper Primary and Pre School in St. George Province, while replacing hurricane-torn roofs in the community. Our main project in Dominica will wrap up at the end of December, but we are actively raising funds for one last school rebuild: Charlotte Pre-school, which, if the funding comes through, will keep us in Dominica through January. Working closely with the Ministry of Education, other NGOs, the schools and the local communities, this essential work has created much safer homes and more appropriate learning environments, which also serve as evacuation shelters for the surrounding communities. In total, this work has positively impacted 130 students. On behalf of the people of Dominica, thank you!

In Tortola, BVI, All Hands and hearts has focused on restoring education to schools affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. With over 3,105 hours of volunteer work, much has been accomplished! Wonder Years Daycare and Preschool, Rainbow Transitional Home and Autism Centre, and Ivan Dawson Primary School are fully functional after flood damage, roof damage, and structural problems have been repaired. Our emphasis on resilient building practices in all the work we do ensures that these structures can weather the next hurricanes. This work has put 161 of students back in school, where they can play and learn safely. Over 3,600 people were positively impacted as a result of your support of volunteer work in BVI. On behalf of the students and families there, thank you!

The people living in the Caribbean were in an unimaginably difficult situation last year at this time. Their homes and belongings had been damaged and destroyed. Their schools were not safe to attend, wind and flood damage visible throughout. Now, because of you, they are well on their way to fully recovering from such destructive storms. You, the compassionate GlobalGiving community, teamed with our experienced and dedicated volunteers have forever changed the lives of so many. We are eternally grateful that you have made it possible for us to participate in such meaningful work. We hope you will continue to follow our work in the USVI and Puerto Rico, where we are working hard to make full disaster recovery a reality for hundreds more. Thank you again for all you do!

Award from Senator Forde
Award from Senator Forde
External view of Paix Bouche
External view of Paix Bouche
One of our teams: ready to keep working!
One of our teams: ready to keep working!
 

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Organization Information

All Hands and Hearts

Location: Mattapoisett, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @allhands
Project Leader:
Julieann Jones
Mattapoisett, MA United States
$84,218 raised of $100,000 goal
 
190 donations
$15,782 to go
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