In the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria, we have sent two new grants to help storm victims in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
A $2,500 grant from the WMU Foundation’s HEART Fund will assist pastors and their congregations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with buying water and basic supplies. The storms, which decimated buildings, roads, and electricity, have caused the worst damage to the area in history.
Nellie Torrado, executive director of Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands WMU, said people are “beginning to despair” in the midst of the devastation.
“On our three islands — Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra — there is no drinking water, not even bottled, nor electricity,” she said. “Gasoline is limited. Communication is sporadic. Lines at the gas stations are very long.”
Another $5,000 grant also went to assist those in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma and struggling to recover.
The two grants brought WMU Foundation funds released this hurricane season to a total of $15,000. In August, a $5,000 grant went to WMU of Texas to purchase gift cards for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and a $2,500 grant was allotted to First Cambodian Church in Texas to help repair damage to their church from Harvey.
“We will continue to look for ways to help with relief and rebuilding, especially in Puerto Rico where the needs are so great and there are not as many resources to help with rebuilding,” said David George, president of the WMU Foundation.
Since the HEART Fund began in 2001 in response to the 9/11 terror attacks, the WMU Foundation has granted more than $498,000 to help with disaster relief all over the world.
Written by Grace Thornton.