Hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017. These areas continue to recover from the hurricanes, even more for the people of Puerto Rico. They are living without electricity and safe housing. Jobs are gone and children no longer have schools to attend. Families have lost most of their possessions. These families need help and support. Many left Puerto Rico and came to the Lebanon, Pennsylvania area because there is a large Hispanic community living there.
Every month since Hurricane Maria struck, approximately 10 new evacuee students become enrolled at the Lebanon School District. Many of the students cannot speak or understand English. Sadly, they often don’t have basic school supplies or warm winter clothing.
The evacuees needed help and Mission Central’s Cleona Hub responded quickly. The HUB called for volunteers from area United Methodist Churches to collect school supplies and warm clothing for the students and their families.
On December 18th volunteers from four United Methodist Churches assembled 79 school bags: several of the school district’s teachers purchased and donated supplies. Church members and others in the community donated coats, sweat shirts, sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves to the Cleona HUB.
Deb O’Connor, a member of the Immanuel United Methodist congregation, is an English as a Second Language teacher at Harding Elementary School in the Lebanon School District. A week before Christmas, Deb delivered more than four cart loads of clothing and 79 school bags to the students.
The need for school supplies and clothing continues. Please check the HUB page on missioncentral.org for location and contact information for Cleona and also remember that Mission Central collects these items year round, as these are basic needs that always need addressed, not only in Lebanon, York and Harrisburg, but all over the country.