by The Happy NPO 1K Lives Impacted Puerto Rico
In February I’m moving to the US Territory of Puerto Rico. I’ve been traveling to Puerto Rico regularly over the last twenty months doing what I c...
In February I’m moving to the US Territory of Puerto Rico.
I’ve been traveling to Puerto Rico regularly over the last twenty months doing what I can to help lend strength after the deadly Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017. It devastate the island; plunging all of its 3.4 million residents into a desperate humanitarian crisis…and now an earthquake has hit on top of the already hurting. On all of my trips I’ve been working with friends, Carlos & Katherine Rodriguez, and their Puerto Rico base non-profit, The Happy Givers. They have been working weekly with some of the most vulnerable and poor of society focusing mainly on helping restore peoples’ physical homes and bring healing and God’s love to their hearts. Since the spring of last year we’ve been moving toward more long term humanitarian work. Although recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria are still the main focus we are also trying to look for long term strategic moves that will strengthen people and communities for generations to come.
Why Puerto Rico?
It became clear to me last summer that I didn’t want to just visit Puerto Rico I wanted to make it my home. With every trip my heart expanded as did the lengths of my visits. It was harder and harder to leave each time. There is so much to love about Puerto Rico, and Puerto Ricans are some of the most community and family focused people I’ve ever encounter. They are proud hard working Americans. I am regularly taken aback and ashamed of the way our shared Federal governments treat Puerto Rico. They should be our equally cared for neighbors, but we often treat them as second class citizens. I have no intent to take on the political banner on this. Other than to be love in action there.
Mission & Focus
The first year will primarily be spent on doing three major things.
1. Settle: Find Community, build connections within the city, learn the culture & language (Spanish).
2. Hosting Mission Groups: Starting in February through 2021 we have groups booked monthly. These groups are primarily from the US and will come down to do construction and community service style mission work. I will help coordinate, lead and host these teams.
3. Construction Trade School: We are starting a construction trade school in the spring of 2020. We will focus on training unemployed or underemployed women and men. The main goal being to help end the cycle of poverty in many of their lives. These students will be paid to go through our program. In addition to basic carpentry skills they will have classes on the basics of business, customer service, business ethics and basic accounting. These students will then become our construction project managers and will continue our rebuilding work when mission groups are not in town. The city mayor, FDA, churches, and many of the construction trade community have eagerly encouraged us and have offered their full support. They’ve even pledged support in the form of space and $100K to get the school going as soon as possible.
How can you Help? Support!
Financial Support I’m going to have a few big expenses with the move as well as a need to raise monthly support for at lest the first year. Happy Givers is covering a third ($1000) of what I’ll need to live on. They will also host me for the first few months until I can secure housing. Financial Needs A. Monthly Support: I need to raised an additional $2000 a month B. Housing: Deposit or downpayment $3-$5K I have a vision to host interns and groups that come down. I’d like to get housing that can accommodate more than me. C. Car: $8-$10K I’m asking that you would consider donating monthly for 12 months or consider make any one time gift. I truly believe what I’m doing is a worthy cause and I’d be incredibly honored if you’d consider partnering with me. All gifts here on this site is tax deductible for US donors. www.purecharity.com/help-natalie or if more convenient you can give a non-tax deductible gifts directly to me via cash app $nataliecalifornia
Come enjoy Puerto Rico. Enjoy its beaches, see the rain forest, experience its culture and rum. Puerto Rico is a US territory so no passport needed and they use US dollars. So be it a vacation, or joining one of the teams for a week, or better yet; bring your own team down… anyway I’d love to host you and show you around!
I need your prayers! The more the merrier; prayers of provision, protection, health, favor, wisdom. I’m
gonna need them all and a lot of them.
If you feel you’d like to specifically partner with me in prayer, I’d like to create a special email list beyond
the normal newsletter. Please shoot me an email and let me know you’d like to be in the prayer group.