Presbyterian Church Provides Relief in Puerto Rico’s Humanitarian Crisis


A practical approach to filling needs

These stories are not just about food, connections, and water but other necessities that we tend to forget. Always mindful of their budget constraints and limitations on donations, Trinity tries to provide food and supplies in a way that balances cost and quality. The team found a great buy on Tresemme shampoo and conditioner. As they were handing it out they noticed that several the women recipients were beside themselves; one lady choked up in disbelief and gratitude and asked, “Are you really giving shampoo to me?” Clark also notes a lovely elderly woman who simply said to the volunteer team: “I Love you!!” Later, a man with tears in his eyes, “Thank you for helping my family.” As they had finished a day of distributing supplies, a woman recipient asked: “Are you gonna still give more to others? Please don’t stop!” Despite their own needs, the very best of humanity shines.

Perhaps Pastor Clark’s favorite story is when a man very early in the recovery efforts, clearly a husband and father (he had a little girl in his arms, and his wife was nearby), approached Clark and his volunteers about half-way through their distribution effort, with profound grief and gratitude on his face, and firmly shook Clark’s hand. Then about 15 minutes later he came back again, gently nodding his head in sincerest appreciation, and he shook Clark’s hand again. Then as the group was leaving the man quickly walked up, hesitated, and then shook Clark’s hand yet again, vigorously, clearing his throat and fighting back the tears. These two former strangers’ eyes met, they connected on a deep and visceral level, neither said a word, yet were together. Pastor Clark didn’t want to leave.

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