In This Time of Asking Forgiveness, I Am Donating to Help Hurricane Survivors

28 Sep


We were in San Juan, Puerto Rico in June.  A lovely island for a day of sight seeing as we cruised the Caribbean.  We took a bus to the Fort in San Juan, and then a walking tour from the Fort back to the ship.   We passed beautiful flowering trees and plants, lush gardens, We toured the Fort that overlooks the ocean and once protected the island from invaders.  We looked down the coast to see the lovely beaches.


But Hurricane Maria has devasted the island.   So many millions without food, water, housing.  Searching for a way off the island, tourists who live elsewhere are stuck, stranded away from their home.  While those whose home is Puerto Rica are afraid of the future.  When where the power grid be repaired, when will the water and the food be available again. When will the roads be fixed.  When will medical care and schools be able to return to normal.


Puerto Rico is one of many islands that faced destruction in the way of Hurricane Irma and Maria, while Florida and Texas also suffered horrors during to hurricane season, Hurricane Harvey and Irma impacted these areas.  Connected to other states and cities,  Florida and Texas are fortunate in that help can come more quickly for these impacted areas, where as the islands of the Caribbean are isolated.

Cruise ships are cancelling vacation cruises in order to help evacuate the islands and bring supplies.  But in reality, there is no tourism or vacation in some sections of the Caribbean now as the destruction of the islands’ infrastructures make tourism impossible.

I cannot go there to help.  But I can donate. I can provide tzedakah to those in need. I chose the “oneamericanappeal.org” that was endorsed by and set up by our five former presidents: Bush, Bush, Carter, Clinton and Obama: Republicans and Democrats coming together to help our citizens in need.

I know that not everyone can help financially.  But those of us who can, must.   The island of Puerto Rico will never be the same.  But perhaps it can even be better as the power grid is rebuilt and the water supply fixed…as it will be updated and modernized. The Virgin Island of St. Thomas was also devastated.  These islands are our responsibility.  The citizens of these islands are citizens of the United States.

It has been a difficult time for many.  Fires in the west and northwest are causing destruction and health issues.  The many hurricanes have devasted areas with their high winds and flooding rains. I also sent sent a donation to help with these disasters as well through the Jewish Federation.

With this season of asking for forgiveness, the time between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, I think that doing good for others ,  tzedakah and gemilut Chasadim, shows my commitment to tikkun olam.  As I ask forgiveness for all that I might have done to hurt others during the year, I send donations to help those in need. 

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6 Responses to “In This Time of Asking Forgiveness, I Am Donating to Help Hurricane Survivors”

  1. Amy September 29, 2017 at 7:11 am #

    It is heartbreaking to see what has happened to the Caribbean islands. My parents used to vacation in Puerto Rico every February in Boqueron. We used to spend a week in St Martin during semester break. Both places have been destroyed. I feel terrible about the physical destruction, but worse for the people who depend on the tourist trade for their livelihoods. What will happen to them? Yes, financial support is essential.

    Have an easy and meaningful fast.

    • zicharon September 29, 2017 at 7:13 am #

      We were also in St Martin on this trip. Have enjoyed the beauty of the Caribbean many times. This is a desperate time for them. The economy is destroyed and will take years to recover. Help is truly needed. So my holiday tzedakah this year goes to them.

      • Amy September 29, 2017 at 11:10 am #

        I will do the same.

  2. thegenealogygirl October 11, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    Thank you for this lovely post, Ellen. I think the sentiment of offering help while seeking forgiveness is beautiful. I cannot believe how much destruction there has been during this past year. There are so many in desperate need of help. I too have found a fund to support to help those who are suffering. I hope that relief and rebuilding will be swift.

    • zicharon October 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

      It seems to be an unusually harsh year. And now even more fires. I hope all who are impacted get the help they need!

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