The temperature was 94 degrees with a comparable humidity level; it was hot! The team’s mission was in Las Carolinas putting on tarps aided by local community members. This is where we met Carlos. An original Puerto Rico resident, he had moved to Chicago for many years, returning to the island he loved 12 years ago. He showed us his home where we discovered a bed spotted with black mold due to hurricane winds and rain. Trying to convince him that keeping this mattress would severely jeopardize his health and must be disposed of, he simply replied “I have a bad back and am in pain, I cannot”. We promised to try to help.
Using a contact we met on the ride down to Puerto Rico, a local businessman, Pedro Tartak was contacted and asked if he could help. Although he owns a successful furniture company, he does not sell beds or mattresses. Yet, showing the true Puerto Rican spirit of love and compassion, he purchased a new box spring and mattress and delivered it to our headquarters. When we delivered it to Carlos, the smile on his face accompanied by a moistening of his eyes bespoke his heartfelt gratitude. We see and hear of countless examples of this love in action.