Reaching out to storm survivors in Puerto Rico

Reaching out to storm survivors in Puerto Rico

September 29, 2017

Photo credit: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Rev. Catie Newman, Iowa Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, talks about what UMCOR is already doing in Puerto Rico.
The images and pleas for help coming out of Puerto Rico have touched all Americans, and there is growing concern for the safety and well-being of the island’s millions of inhabitants who are in need of food, water, and other supplies. “The pictures and the stories are absolutely heartbreaking,” says Rev. Catie Newman, Iowa Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. “It’s just beyond the scope of what your heart can take in.”

She cites recent reports from VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) and the military, saying that they have been able to bring in shipments of water and fuel, and that several hospital ships have arrived. “That will help folks on the coast,” Rev. Newman explains. “The bigger problem now is trying to get those relief supplies inland, because the amount of water and rain that came down in the mountains has washed out all the roads. So all of those items will have to be air-lifted in, and that has begun, but it is a massive task.”

For those who are eager to help the people suffering in Puerto Rico, Rev. Newman has two clear suggestions: “Truly the best way we can help now is to pray, and to send in donations.” To donate, click here:

“We do have UMCOR folks there, we have United Methodists there,” says Rev. Newman. “But the task is daunting, and we just need to keep praying and supporting all those efforts that are already underway.”

Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images