In September 2017, Hurricane Maria unleashed its wrath across Dominica, Puerto Rico and the northeastern Caribbean. In rural Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Hogar Forjadores de Esperanza (Home of Hope)—a boys’ orphanage—took a direct hit of sustained 175 miles per hour winds and pelting rain. By morning, the home and its grounds were severely damaged.
Local Timberland retailer Angel Castro explained the extent of the damage to the Timberland PRO team in the U.S. Our crew of 55 volunteers made their way to Bayamón to begin repairs. We brought the tools, materials, know-how and our deep passion for pulling on our boots and making a difference.
“To see the destruction in person and then come together as a team and really see the impact you can make, it’s been incredible.”
–Jackie Mee, Timberland PRO Marketing Intern
The most essential repair came first: rebuilding the chain-link fence around the perimeter that keeps the boys safe. Then we focused our efforts on an outdoor gazebo—the boys’ eating space. Working together, we tiled the floor to give it a sense of permanence. It became a place the boys could be proud of—rebuilt by people they know cared about them.
We moved on to cleaning up the grounds, filling four big dumpsters with debris from the hurricane—everything from broken glass to bent metal. To ensure the boys had the tools to maintain their home in the future, we donated our supplies and built a new concrete storage shed to house everything.
“It’s amazing to see what 50 people coming together can accomplish.”
–Rebecca Conway, Senior Manager PRO Marketing
The hardworking group of Timberland PRO volunteers completed many critical jobs—and one job that gave the boys a special surprise: an entirely refurbished basketball court. When the kids ran out to see it, it was a deeply emotional experience to see their joy. Of course, we quickly challenged them to a pickup game!
“The greatest reward you can ever get is when you can do something unexpected for someone.”
-Alan Jones, Sales Director