On September 20, 2017, the island of Puerto Rico was still picking itself up from the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, when the evacuation order came under the threat of a new storm. But this time, the much more powerful category 5 storm would not simply skirt the island like Irma had. This time, Hurricane Maria would hit the island head-on at full force. This time, the effects would not last mere weeks. This was a storm the likes of which the island has never seen.

Today, nearly 6 months later, Puerto Ricans continue to flee the island as the search to find clean drinking water and a way to communicate with loved ones is a daily struggle. Clean up efforts continue, towns need rebuilding, fields need replanting – Puerto Rico is in dire need of help, an injection of hope.

This Spring Break (March 22-29), through Cultural Bridges, a group of students and their parents are giving up their spring break to bring some hope – Backpacks Full of Hope! 20 students and parents will undertake a humanitarian service trip to Puerto Rico to provide some of the much-needed help repairing infrastructure. We will be helping to rebuild homes, replant lost agriculture, and improve the general living condition for families in need.

You too can help! Much is needed, from portable solar chargers to seeds to replant to school supplies for students in need. Follow us here on this blog as we sew the seeds you send, deliver the supplies you donate, and show Puerto Rico that the rest of America cares as we take to the island with our Backpacks Full of Hope!