Want to help with our Relief Efforts for Puerto Rico?
This photo is from a Love Your Life Coastal wellness retreat where I worked as the health supportive chef last March in Rincon, Puerto Rico. What a spectacularly beautiful place we stayed! It’s utterly heart breaking to see Puerto Rico---and all of these other places experiencing natural disasters---undergo such suffering. From a Humanitarian perspective, it makes it difficult to know what one person can do to help.
Since Rincon, Puerto Rico holds a special place in my heart, I decided to channel my own humanitarian efforts into a project there that involves the local children. Before I tell you more about this particular project, let me back up and tell you why I chose Rincon.
Last February, I met Laraine Gordon, psychotherapist and owner of Love Your Life Coastal Wellness Retreats and founder of Time For Teens, a non profit organization that supports teens who have lost a parent or loved one. Laraine and I had known each other socially, but re-met at a doTerra class my colleague was teaching; after hearing about doTerra as a company, she quickly decided to join forces with us, especially after learning about the Humanitarian aspect of doTerra’s charity Healing Hands. I had been telling everyone at the class how excited I was to be going on a trip with Healing Hands to the lavender fields of Bulgaria and to work on a local community project of working on a playground at their community center for the local kids.
Laraine and I quickly hit it off and I decided to join her as her chef on her wellness retreat she was running in Rincon, Puerto Rico. With barely enough time to pack my bags, I had planned my menus and was booked on a flight! The wellness retreat was wonderful and I got to see Laraine in action working her magic with her guests to make sure everything ran smoothly despite some uncooperative weather and some ensuing logistical details that resulted.
Here is a video recap of the retreat, filmed by our talented photographer and videographer Eric Striffler:
Laraine and I decided to partner again on another wellness retreat this upcoming March at the same location, but this time incorporating healthy cooking classes, nutrition and essential oils workshops into the program. We were both very excited about this upcoming retreat… until Hurricane Maria hit, with the area we were planning on returning to, suffering severe damage. I admit, my initial thought about the retreat was, “oh such a shame that we will have to cancel”. I called Laraine to commiserate, but Laraine had a bigger vision. She was not ready to bail out. “Why don’t we turn this into an opportunity to help re-build this community” is what she declared when I called. Well, why not, indeed!
So that is exactly what we are doing! Laraine, who has been traveling to this particular area of Puerto Rico for the past several years and has many local friends and contacts down there, quickly went into action and identified a project we could sink our teeth into and make an impact at. There is a local orphanage in Rincon, Hogar Jesus Denazaret, whose playground was destroyed in the storm and whose children are in desperate need of supplies.
Laraine has been able to get a specific list of items the orphanage needs immediately, such as water straws, clothes, food and personal hygiene items, and we are working diligently on sending our first shipment of supplies down on November 4th.
We are also collecting cash donations to go towards our longer term project which entails helping to rebuild their playground and plant a vegetable garden for the kids. We will be updating you as to different ways you can get involved with that, from cash donations to coming down with us in March and working hands on with us on the project.
THERE ARE 3 WAYS YOU CAN HELP NOW:
1. CASH DONATIONS PAYABLE THROUGH THE PAYPAL LINK BELOW. Those donations are going towards the initial shipment of supplies we are sending down next week. We are ordering water straws, supplies and personal hygiene items as well as essential oils and personal care items from doTerra. Once the shipment arrives, we will be posting photographs, so you can see your donations being put to use!
2. DOTERRA MEMBERS CAN PURCHASE THESE ITEMS ON THEIR ACCOUNT: If you have a wholesale account with doTerra and would like to contribute, you can place an order for some of the following items and have them shipped to me and I will include them in our next shipment. This is a good way to use up your free points! (Our first shipment leaves this Friday, so if you'd like to get in on that, please place your order by tomorrow) (Email me for my shipping address) You can also just donate cash through the PayPal link and we will order the products. Either way works!
DoTerra Items Requested: Products for personal hygiene, keeping the kids from getting sick, and non toxic cleaning supplies for restoring the orphanage. The OnGuard line of anti-viral and anti-infectious products such as hand soap; hand sanitizers; cleaning concentrate; and toothpaste; as well as soap; shampoo and conditioner; essential oils such as Melaleuca, OnGuard, Oregano; Lemon; Peppermint; Breathe; Lavender and Wild Orange can be used for purifying water, keeping the kids from getting sick, easing stress and anxiety and helping ease allergies and respiratory distress.
3. CLOTHING AND SHOES DONATIONS: The orphanage has children from 6 months of age through age 13. If you have appropriate clothing for those ages, new or gently used, you can send or drop off to either Laraine or myself. (Email me for the address)
It is important to note that with Humanitarian efforts, especially when children are involved, it is ESSENTIAL to maintain a consistent presence. We plan on continuing to offer ongoing support to this orphanage, so these kids feel loved and supported; we will not abandon this project after the initial frenzy of people wanting to help fades. We will continue our efforts at fundraising and re-building, adjusting as we go along to their changing needs and keeping all of our donors in the loop as to our progress as we move forward.
Please consider offering some support to our cause; any donation is welcome. None are too small.
Thank You for your support!