World Kindness Day: Big Willie And Puerto Rico's Disaster Relief Effort

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, our very own “Big” Willie El Renacido, in conjunction with our neighbor Pastor Jose M. Roque at Primera Iglesia Cristiana Missionera, began collecting donations to assist in Puerto Rico’s relief effort. Necessities such as batteries, baby wipes, shampoo, flashlights, power generators, diapers, water, and food were packed on skids in Boathouse’ manufacturing floor.

As news quickly spread of their generosity, others joined in. Boathouse paid the $2,225 cost of shipping. State Rep. Angel Cruz provided an official letter requesting “whatever support they needed” during their travels. Someone, known only as “Jessica” donated $500 dollars cash and a $500 dollar Walmart gift card (please let us know if you know who “Jessica” is.)

On Oct. 7, 2017 Willie and his friends Norma, Marisol, Andy and Andrew arrived in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, the shipment didn’t arrive. Luckily, they also packed 17 pieces of luggage, filled to the brim with donations received after the primary shipment went out. Frontier Airlines kindly waived the luggage fees (Thank You!). Big Willie and his friends remained in Puerto Rico Until October 14th trying to get the donations through customs, and handing out donations from their 17 packed bags.

They returned two weeks later on Nov 1 after receiving word that the shipment had finally arrived and spent the next week distributing its contents to those in need and helping anyone they could with the recovery effort. “It’s going to take time, but during my second trip to Puerto Rico I could start to see some progress being made…which makes me very hopeful.”

We at Boathouse are extremely proud of Big Willie and his friends Norma, Marisol, Andy and Andrew, as well as Pastor Jose M. Roque at Primera Iglesia Cristiana Missionera, for being so selfless and kind. No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted. This #WorldKindnessDay think about how you can help someone in need. And feel free to give Big Willie a shout out below!