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The Making of Medicine

Helping Heal Puerto Rico

One of our nurse practitioners, Elizabeth Conde Alvarez, can tell you about both the tremendous devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the tremendous kindness of people there, even as they try to survive amid terrible conditions.

She recalled how one person graciously offered her juice even though drinkable liquids were in perilously short supply. A small act that takes on much greater significance when you consider the circumstance. When you have little or nothing, not even electricity or running water or a roof over your head, how can you risk giving anything away?

In her off hours, Ms. Alvarez has been working to help the people of Puerto Rico for months now. She has been raising money through GoFundMe and has already made one trip to the Caribbean island, her homeland, to deliver much-needed supplies. She leaves for a second on Tuesday. She told NBC 29’s Victoria Wresilo about it in an interview yesterday. You can watch the story here.

As she concluded her interview, Ms. Alvarez issued a challenge to the people of Charlottesville. If everyone gave up their coffee for just one day and donated the money they would have spent, it would raise more than six figures for the people of Puerto Rico, she noted. For fellow Americans who are in desperate times.

As I write this, Ms. Alvarez’s fundraiser has brought in $14,645, just shy of her $15,000 goal. But as tired as she is, as many obstacles as she’s faced to deliver her supplies, she says she’d consider doing it again if people continue to donate beyond the goal.

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