Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017, many residents of Puerto Rico are still living without everyday necessities such as clean water, reliable sources of food, and electricity. A team from Milestone joined Mission 500—a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis—on a service trip to Puerto Rico, and had the opportunity to work alongside a large group of volunteers to help local families rebuild their homes.
LeeAnne Barnard, Brian Hayes, and Saul Benjamin Colin Leon from Milestone worked together for three days to help a Puerto Rican family repair their home. The volunteers rebuilt the exterior of the house, working tirelessly to replace the siding and roof, and helped remove debris and overgrown greenery from the yard. They also replaced damaged structural beams to stabilize the entire home.
Another crew worked on the interior of the home to fix a portion of the living room floor that was collapsing. Together, the two teams also poured cement to seal off the bathroom entrance from the ground below and installed doors on all the rooms, where the family had previously just had curtains. Finally, the volunteers all pitched in their own money to buy the family a new washing machine, stove, rugs, and bedding.
With a packed daily schedule, LeeAnne, Brian and Saul began each day at around 6:00 a.m. with breakfast at the hotel. They then joined the entire volunteer group to create an overall game plan. Once on site, they broke into smaller project groups and planned out each day. The team worked straight through until about noon, had a quick bite to eat, and then went back to work until the evening. The team reported that the three days flew by and there was always more work to do.
The impacted family was very grateful, and while the father had to work at his new job for two of the three days, each day when he got home, he immediately went to work on repairing his home late into the night. On the third day, he worked side by side all day with the volunteers—and he put his kids to work too!
Once the job was complete, he thanked all the volunteers and invited them back to Puerto Rico anytime they wish—and offered them a special tour of all the beautiful sites of the island.
This is one trip the Milestone team will not forget.
Thank you, LeeAnne, Brian, and Saul!