The recovery effort from the devastation of two hurricanes in Puerto Rico is very personal for one Mansfield University (MU) employee.
Edgard Domenech, known to most as Gardy, is the Mail Services coordinator at MU and a native of the island. He has a large number of relatives, including his mother, still living in Puerto Rico.
The 24 hours after Hurricane Maria made land fall on Sept. 20 felt like days for Domenech, not knowing the fate of his family, until he received a phone call from a cousin telling him everyone had survived. “That was the best phone call ever,” he said.
Now Domenech has made it his mission to help the people of Puerto Rico in any way that he can.
“There are three and a half million people in Puerto Rico, and they are American citizens who need our help,” Domenech said. “As a native Puerto Rican, I am asking for everyone’s help. To my fellow Mounties, I am certain that we can express our compassion for those who have lost everything by displaying the virtues set forth by our Mansfield Creed: Character, Scholarship, Culture and Service. This is an excellent opportunity for student clubs, organizations, sororities and fraternities to work together to make a difference.”
Domenech is collecting canned goods, water, personal hygiene items, batteries, clothing and monetary donations. There is a collection box set up in the Lobby of Pinecrest Manor.
Last Saturday, he manned a table at MU’s football game against Cornell at Van Norman Field beginning at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Oct. 7, tables were also set up at the First Citizen’s Bank locations in Mansfield and Wellsboro from 9 a.m. to noon to accept donations. “I thank anyone who can do anything to help, and I know the people of Puerto Rico appreciate it too,” Domenech said.
For more information on the Puerto Rico Relief Drive, email firstname.lastname@example.org.