Helping Puerto Rico Recover From the Deadly Hurricane Season
Working with the many volunteer groups, EMTs, members of the military, police, and all of good will who have rolled up their sleeves to help the people of the island, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Hurricane Maria Disaster Response is here for the long haul to make sure the island not only recovers but prospers.
Puerto Rico is utterly devastated. That was the painful fact of life that struck Kristie, a Scientology Volunteer Minister from Florida, who arrived Tuesday, September 26.
She is one of hundreds of Volunteer Ministers (VMs) arriving in Puerto Rico over the coming days to join local VMs providing relief and support to the people of the island.
“The reality of no electricity, no running water and no gas is pretty intense,” she says. “For instance, you can’t cook food without gas and outside fires are prohibited. Puerto Rico is incredibly hot and humid and there is no air conditioning anywhere. You have to think long and hard about how important something is before you use any cars in order to preserve as much gas as possible.”
Texting or calling is a luxury. “There is very little phone reception on the island,” she says. “There are a few signal hotspots on the highway and there will be hundreds of cars pulled off on the side with people talking on the phone.”
But the people of Puerto Rico are so welcoming and generous, the rewards of helping them far outweigh these challenging conditions, she says. Despite having lost and suffered so much it is common for people to come up to the volunteers and ask them if they need help.
The amount of destruction is hard to confront. Most buildings are standing, but they all seem to have suffered damage from the wind or flooding. She describes the trees as “massacred.” Half of them are knocked over and they are all stripped of leaves. “It looks like mid-winter in the North,” she says.
Much more help is needed. Scientology Volunteer Ministers International headquarters has put out a call for hundreds of VMs to provide relief in Puerto Rico. “We will not forget Puerto Rico,” says the Volunteer Ministers International Coordinator. “We are here for the long haul to make sure the island not only recovers but prospers.”
Those wishing to help or to donate food, water, or emergency supplies should contact the Volunteer Ministers headquarters in Los Angeles at (800) HELP-4-YU or 1 (323) 960-1949.
The Church of Scientology Volunteer Minister program is a religious social service created in the mid 1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. For more information, visit the Volunteer Ministers website.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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