Monday, September 25, 2017

Central Florida Helps Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria

by: Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever, MD

When I wrote the most recent blog post (Hope for the Storms of Life), I had no idea that a much worse disaster would follow so soon. Hurricane Irma passed through central Florida more directly than anticipated, yet the impact could have been much worse. Even with the relatively small impact on my immediate community, the storm brought together our neighborhood. I am so grateful for the gift of community and fellowship.

Since then, an unprecedented storm ravaged my home island of Puerto Rico. The category 4 storm (with gusts of category 5 winds) left the entire island without power, many without water, and most without internet or phone access. Many towns remain completely out of reach due to collapsed bridges and communication towers, and thousands of people remain vulnerable to further damage from ongoing rain days after the storm. A humanitarian crisis has ensued, and although much help continues to arrive, distribution remains a challenge.

As you know, as a family physician and pastor's wife in central Florida, I love to serve as a bridge between ministries that serve the needy, the poor, and the underserved. I recognize the need to prepare our city for the influx of people with urgent medical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs in the coming weeks and months. I recognize the need to come together now to maximize the current resources and create new ones as specific needs are anticipated and recognized.

Thus, I'd like to use this blog as well as my Twitter page (@faithfulMDcoach) to connect ministries and efforts so we can collaborate without reinventing the wheel, and so we can help the most people efficiently and well--including meeting their spiritual and emotional needs as they arrive.

Here is a list of items to donate with drop-off locations in central Florida (see below for more).

We will help you rebuild. Puerto Rico, you are not alone!
A few other excellent resources:

United for Puerto Rico

Mental Health/Emotional Support Resource

Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration 

Central Florida Medical Ministries (scroll down on the right side of this blog for links)

Please spread the word and let me know of other resources and evolving relief efforts in central Florida. I will do all I can to update information as needed.

¡Puerto Rico se levanta con nuestra ayuda! (Puerto Rico will rise with our help!)

Blessings and Peace,

Dr Mari

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.  
Psalm 30:10

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