The holiday season may be over, but the spirit of helping your neighbor is something that should be practiced and celebrated all year long. A great example of living this principle is our very own Hal Byram.
Hal and his wife Julie have been traveling to Puerto Rico for the last 12 years. They love the culture, the people, and the beauty of the island. When Hal and Julie realized how badly the island had been hit by the hurricane and how their friends were affected, they decided to make a trip to help out in any way they could.
The devastation was unimaginable. Members of the village in which they visit lost their homes and had no access to electricity, drinking water, fresh food, ice, and even communication. Hal and Julie brought over 800 pounds of supplies from the mainland to supply their friends with basic necessities. Some of the aid items included water filtration systems, over the counter medications, and canned meats.
Of the 40 homes in the village, Villa Pesquera, about 13 were completely destroyed and most others had significant damage. Although some power has been restored, Puerto Rico is still in bad shape. Hal and his wife plan on going back in early January to continue this relief effort.
The resiliency of the residents of Puerto Rico is incredibly inspiring, especially since most of the island is still without power even though Hurricane Maria hit in September. We wish Hal and Julie the best on their second trip and look forward to hearing updates.