Building new foundations
Central Penn Everence chapter helps Puerto Rico rebuild
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September of 2017, the Category 4 storm left the island’s farmland and infrastructure in ruins – and residents living without electricity, running water and health services. Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) has been on the ground, assisting communities with rebuilding – and Everence® members and staff in the Central Penn region are helping.
In June 2018, a group of 10 Everence employees – including Central Penn-based Keith Witmer, Market Operations Manager; and Dave Warren, Vice President of Asset Management – traveled to Aibonito, Puerto Rico, to work with Mennonite Disaster Service in rebuilding homes destroyed by the hurricane.
“The work was hard, but it was extremely meaningful,” said Witmer, upon his return stateside. “It provided noticeable hope to the community.”
In addition to the volunteer efforts, Everence (through its Central Penn member chapter) contributed $1,000 to support MDS in building stronger and safer homes in cooperation with the Mennonite Church Conferences in Puerto Rico.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done across the island, and this Everence chapter grant will be put to good use,” Witmer added. “Volunteers also are urgently needed. I encourage anyone interested in helping out to contact MDS directly at (717) 735-3536 or online at mds.mennonite.net/volunteer/.”
The Everence chapter grant program provides assistance to organizations and causes such as housing projects and homeless shelters, community playgrounds and low-income daycares, medical clinics and blood drives, food pantries, community disaster relief, and more. The grants are made possible when members purchase many Everence products.