Hurricane Irma Update
Silvia Smith-Torres, Executive Director
Hurricane Irma has had a major impact on many His House friends and neighbors – please know that you remain in our thoughts and prayers as we all recover together from this devastating storm.
We are touched that so many supporters have been contacting us to find out how we have been impacted and I want to take this opportunity to give you an update.
Storms are very frightening for any children, but even more so for the children we serve who have experienced severe trauma like abuse, abandonment or neglect. Hearing of the coming storm and seeing the preparations caused a lot of anxiety in our cottages.
Our dedicated staff and volunteer “Hurricane Heroes” were phenomenal, helping us to prepare before and lending extra hands to comfort and care for the children during and after the storm.
On the Monday following the storm, we had our first opportunity to survey the campus for damage. Although we had serious flooding, lots of fallen trees and other debris strewn across the campus, overall our buildings had minimal damage.
With the assistance of additional team members and dedicated volunteers, we began cleaning up and are still working on it.
We were without power for 6 days and had to put out a plea on Facebook as we were quickly running out of drinking water. We are grateful for the generous response we received from the community.
In order to settle the hearts of the kids after the storm, we assigned the clinical team to do rounds throughout the cottages. They calmly spoke with the children, answered their questions and reassured them that they are safe.
We immediately began to coordinate activities for the children to bring fun and adventure to these challenging times.
As I write, our campus is slowly getting back to normal.
How Can You Help
I also would like to address the other question we are being asked very frequently, “What can we do to help?”
As I’m sure you are not surprised, the preparation for and clean up after Irma is coming at great expense to His House.
Running an organization with an average of 200 kids on campus at any time is very costly, but especially with the extra staff expenses, hurricane-related supplies, and special activities and services required for the children after the storm.
If you are able to help at this time, we are in need of financial support to cover the significant expenses of the storm.
We are also updating the list of specific supplies we need on this page.
Thank you for your love and concern for our organization and the precious children we serve.
Always grateful for you,