Volunteer Ministers in Puerto Rico: Need for Help Still Great
Almost six weeks since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, Scientology Volunteer Ministers, working with FEMA, volunteer groups and army personnel, are providing relief to islanders in need of help.
The island of Vieques was a jewel of the Caribbean, renowned for its natural beauty: the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay, a 3,000-acre wildlife refuge, secluded crystal beaches and all just seven miles off Puerto Rico’s east coast. But that was before Maria rampaged through the Caribbean, leaving the island devastated.
Learning from FEMA last week that Vieques has had very little help, a team from the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Puerto Rico Disaster Response took off right away and arrived in the island’s main barrio, Isabel Segunda, with chainsaws and a truck filled with food and water. They met with the mayor and other volunteer relief organizations to find out what was needed, and got right to work.
“We handled several homes that had trees covering their roofs and driveways,” says the lead Volunteer Minister (VM), “and we built a roof for a home whose entire top floor was ripped off during the storm.” Then, in a neighborhood on the opposite side of the island, they distributed food, water, and baby care products, and brought needed supplies to a cancer center that cares for 54 patients.
The first members of the Volunteer Ministers team flew in to Puerto Rico as soon as the airport opened, and additional teams of Scientology Volunteer Ministers have joined them, providing relief in the towns of Ponce, Comino Los Ayala, Cupey Savana, Dorado, Yauco, Aracibo, Cotano, Gurabo, Coamo, Utuado, Corozal, Mayaguez, Patillas, Castaneras and San Juan.
In Mayaguez, they set up a Volunteer Minister tent at a Catholic church and distributed seven pallets of water and another seven pallets of food. In San Juan, they provided supplies to a Methodist church that feeds the homeless and poor. There and at a Methodist church in Arecibo, they distributed food, water and baby supplies.
One of the Volunteer Ministers, a nurse, has caring for those in need of medical help. The VMs also provided transportation and backup to a team of doctors, brought to Puerto Rico by Americorps.
Help is still needed. Some 70 percent of the island remains without power and many lack access to food and clean drinking water.
Those wishing to help or to donate food, water or emergency supplies should contact 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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