By Joseph Geiger
More than 100 days after the island of Puerto Rico was devastated by category 4 and 5 hurricanes Maria and Irma, the island is still suffering. About half the people of Puerto Rico spent their holidays in the dark still without power, shortages of critical supplies did not stop when hashtags stopped trending on social media and many families still do not have a roof over their heads.
Bottom line, the work is not done.
That’s why the New York City District Council of Carpenters has 180 members scheduled to go to Puerto Rico as well as Florida and Texas to continue disaster relief efforts. To date, more than 100 members of the District Council have volunteered their time to the disaster relief efforts on the island of Puerto Rico. As carpenters, building is our trade, it’s what we do and in this case, we are working hand-in-hand with the people of Puerto Rico to re-build.
On the island, District Council members have worked with teams of volunteers to rebuild homes, churches and other facilities, deliver supplies and literally put hundreds of roofs over people’s heads. During the holidays members visited local children’s hospitals in Puerto Rico to spread cheer and hand out toys collected through a toy drive run by members back at home in New York.
The New York City District Council of Carpenters are no strangers to emergency, disaster and hurricane relief which is why we know that relief efforts in the months after a devastating event are just as critical as a swift initial response. The District Council partnered with Heart 9/11 to utilize the expert craftsmanship of our members in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, an effort that is still ongoing.
These next 180 carpenter’s members on the list to volunteer for disaster relief efforts are certainly not the first and will likely not be the last. It’s in the heart of the membership of the District Council to respond when called on for help and that’s what we will continue to do until the job is done.