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Resilience in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria
When Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, it affected nearly every resident of the Caribbean island – including more than 1,800 Home Depot associates.
Carlos Rodriguez is one of these associates. His home and everything inside was completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria’s winds, rain and resulting floods.
“Telling my children we can’t go home because we no longer have anything wasn’t easy,” says Carlos. “Each day, I’d wake up and say, ‘My God, will I be able to overcome this, could I move forward?’ And the hope The Homer Fund gave me helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel and move on with my family and children.”
As Hurricane Maria raced towards Puerto Rico, The Home Depot stores stayed open until the last minute to help customers as they prepared their homes and braced for impact.
Today, our associates continue to help customers who are still facing devastation from the storm. But they themselves must also deal with rebuilding their own homes, navigating fear and loss, and figuring out how to pick up the pieces to move forward.
Home Depot associate Miguel Medrano helps people in his community every day as he personally deals with the repercussions of Hurricane Maria. The storm tore through the roof of the house he built himself and shared with his wife and child.
The Homer Fund, the company’s employee assistance charity, has provided $1.8 million in assistance for associates like Carlos and Miguel to help rebuild their lives.
“We’re trying to restore Puerto Rico as it was before,” says Miguel. “We are a cheerful country, and even after the hurricane, we haven’t lost faith and hope. We’re still working to get back on our feet.”