For a number of years, Children Incorporated longed to provide assistance to children and families in Puerto Rico, yet due to various situations and circumstances, our progress in getting started there was slow. Through a connection with a Richmond, Virginia-based church, we finally started providing aid to the island a few years after the ravages of Hurricane Maria.
We at Children Incorporated want to provide as many of these resources as possible, and your help is desperately needed.
Initially, we helped replace furniture, bedding, clothing, and assorted other household items that were lost in the storm, as well as helped repair some homes that were damaged by high water and heavy winds. Just last year, Children Incorporated established our first two child sponsorship sites through a partnership with Iglesia Bautista De Metropolis, a ministry located in the city of Carolina, just outside of San Juan.
This past year, two of my co-workers and I were honored to travel to the “island of enchantment,” as Puerto Rico is called, and meet with the staff of Iglesia Bautista. Their hospitality and welcome were in abundance, and we were quite impressed by the passion they displayed for the children and families they serve.
They treated us to a delicious meal of traditional Puerto Rican fare including mofongo, empanadillas, and tostones, among other delicacies, and then, with a number of the children enrolled in our program and their parents present, hosted a gathering in our honor. I was blessed to actually meet two of the three children I sponsor in Puerto Rico, and they were an absolute joy. One of those young men, Esteban, has since graduated from high school with honors.
The needs of children and families in Puerto Rico are many and diverse. In addition to the constant need for food, clothing, and hygiene items, our partner, Iglesia Bautista, wants to establish before-and-after-school care for children in the vicinity of the church, to provide these precious children with a safe place and to keep them off of the dangerous streets. They are also looking to update the bathrooms in their center, construct a stormproof storage area where supplies can be kept dry, and to provide child-size work tables and benches where the children can do their homework and create crafts. Sports and audiovisual equipment are always in demand, and a big dream is for a van to transport the children and their families to and from the center and within their community.
We at Children Incorporated want to provide as many of these resources as possible, and your help is desperately needed. Will you please consider a gift to support our expanding work in Puerto Rico? We can make a difference if we all work together.
From the heart,
Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer