RICON, Puerto Rico (KWQC) - A mission of providing love and care to an island thousands of miles away. That is what Iowa’s own Danielle Colby is doing in her work to help rebuild the island of Puerto Rico after two back-to-back hurricanes.
"This is a place we love so much and we had to help,” Colby said in early October while TV6 followed her mission on the island.
For more than a year, the LeClaire naïve has traveled to the island nearly once a month to help rebuild and part of that mission has been to help an orphanage recover.
"The passion that they have for this place,” Carlos Figueroa, President of La Casa De Todos, said. “I can’t put into word the impact they have done,”
With the help of the island and her boyfriend, Jeremy, they are helping the orphanage La Casa De Todos move forward. Translated to English, “The House of All”, is a place of refuge for women and children.
"We serve children who are separated from of their homes and we serve the kids with only services they need,” the orphanage’s founder, Sor Carmen Carmona, said.. “We also serve women who are victims of domestic violence, providing all the services the women need, Clothes and services to help them become independent."
The orphanage is dear to Danielle’s heart. Over the last year she has helped the agency rebuild, providing cash donations from herself and friends and helped put a new roof on one of the building’s damaged by the hurricane.
"It gives me goosebumps because, it, it is wonderful to see how people who have nothing to do with this place just came here,” Figueroa said.
That new roof was just the start of the recovery for the orphanage, which suffered significant damages.
No water, no power,” Figueroa said. “The house was destroyed but I see it as a positive situation because of all the people who have reached out to use to help."
Since Hurricane Maria, La Casa De Todos has seen an increase in women and children. Sor Carmen said the hurricane has empowered women.
"In case of the women, we have been receiving more women than before because they decided to separate from their homes and seek help,”.she said. “That is a big change.”
All of the work being done gives the agency hope that things will improve as damage from the hurricane continues.
"I want to say thank you,” Figuero said. “Thank you. I want to say thank you to Danielle and Jeremy for what they have done. I want to say thank you to whoever watches this video for caring."
The orphanage keeps women and children for as long as they are needed.
If you’d like to help the agency, you can find more information by clicking the link below.
Women and Children's Shelter -
La Casa de Todos