As you have all witnessed on television and the internet, the island of Puerto Rico, as well other Caribbean islands, has been devastated by Hurricane Maria. Many people on the island lost everything they had! Their homes, businesses, personal belongings and even some lost their lives.
Some of you know me and met me and Fulya at the Nantucket Hotel & Resort. We came to Nantucket in 2012 and since then the island of Nantucket has become our second home to our family. Since the moment we arrived on Nantucket we immediately felt the sense of Community this island represents. We quickly learned that the number one common thread on this island is that the Nantucket community cares a lot about those in need even if they are not living on our beautiful island. Some of you vacation in Puerto Rico and you have shared your stories with us of the fun you have had on Puerto Rico with your families and friends. Some of you know that we go to Puerto Rico every February to vacation to visit our family and friends when Nantucket is a little frozen!
Just to let you know a little bit about me and where I come from. I was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, but I really grew up in a municipality called Bayamon and my small, but beautiful, neighborhood is called Jardines de Caparra. It was, and is, a tight knit community just like Nantucket is. Since 1969 we all went to school, church and played baseball together. From kindergarten all the way to senior year in high school we lived in our small town and some of our parents still live there. My childhood memories of growing up in Jardines de Caparra are happy memories of simple fun times with family and friends. Even though we didn’t have a lot, we had our families, friends, and neighbors who were all part of our extended family. Some of my friends never left our neighborhood and started families of their own and now have grandchildren and continue to live there and have been recreating the same childhood memories I still relive daily with their young families. But now the devastation of hurricane Maria has taken away the ability for my friends and their children to create memories of happiness and fun and replaced them with fear and everyday challenges beyond your wildest imagination.
As everyone knows Puerto Rico was already in financial trouble and many residents were already in need but what Hurricane Maria did was to take the “hope” away from our residents. Hope is everything because hope is what keeps us going. Hope is what makes you dream at night that things will get better someday. My life in Jardines de Caparra as a young boy was filled with endless Hope and dreams. Today I am living the Hope and Dreams I had way back then with my loving wife, Fulya and our children on the island of Nantucket. Thanks to Marc and Gwen Snider, and the Nantucket Hotel family both Fulya and I feel so lucky to have become part of this community and giant island family of compassionate people. Now I want to give back the gift of Hope and dreams that hurricane Maria so quickly took away from my friends, family and neighbors of Jardines de Caparra. The money raised on this campaign will help families in my neighborhood and surrounding communities and will be distributed accordingly for those in most need and the money could be given to those in need either via bank wired or I will withdraw the funds personally and give to those in need personally or by good friends in the community. Some funds might be used for additional paid campaigns to raise awareness on newspapers, radio or or other forms of media but please know that no monies will be kept by any individuals associated with this campaing and every possible cent raised will be use to help our communities in Puerto Rico!
I am asking you for your help. Help for my neighbors and friends back home. I would love to help everyone in Puerto Rico but I can’t. The government of Puerto Rico, FEMA and the American Red Cross are there now and they are doing the best they can but I am trying to help my neighborhood and give my friends and neighbors just a little piece hope! It’s been very difficult to communicate with my hometown but I have spoken to some of my friends and everyone! lost either their furniture, roofs, clothing, food, have structural damage to their homes and businesses and even if their homes are not affected or destroyed most people can’t work, kids can’t go to school, can’t open their businesses because there is no power or water and a lot of them were already in need before Maria destroyed what little they had. As you have seen on TV help is slow in coming so if you want to help please do so by donating whatever you can to help those in need. Please go on the Go Fund me page Fulya and I have set up to donate whatever you can. Every dollar will help us help them. We will be giving more information in the coming days as to how we plan on collecting and delivering these essential and much needed items to my hometown. If you can’t donate cash please consider donating clothing, nonperishable food items, toiletries, baby formula, diapers or toys. Together we can make a difference. Together we can give them hope and like the rallying cry #puertoricoselevanta Puerto Rico will rise up again! Together you my friends can bring back the sense of hope and dreams that has been removed from Jardines de Caparra and all of Puerto Rico
Thank you in advance, God Bless you and God Bless Puerto Rico and the United States of America!
Here's How To Help...
Nearly all of the U.S. territory’s 3.4 million residents need assistance recovering from the storm.