Hurricane ETA and IOTA Final Update: A Heartfelt Thank You and Two Stories from Survivors

Hurricane ETA and IOTA Final Update: A Heartfelt Thank You and Two Stories from Survivors

. 4 min read

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our GoFundMe campaign in support of employees and families impacted by the tropical storms that hit Honduras in early November 2020. Together, our community raised $25,595 to provide everything from hotel rooms, clothes, cleaning supplies and food for immediate relief to direct donations of around $600 per impacted family to begin rebuilding their homes and lives.

I had a chance to catch up with two PartnerHero employees who lost their homes to hear about their experience escaping the hurricane and how your contribution to the GoFundMe campaign impacted them.

Aileen Garcia, a PartnerHero employee, and her family lost their home in the storms. “Hurricane ETA and IOTA had a major impact on our lives. Unfortunately we were in the category of victims who lost everything. Every single thing in my house was underwater. Our spirit was on the floor since that was everything we had. My family consists of 4 people and we all live together. There was no one else who could come to ‘rescue’ us.”

An image of Aileen's house during the flooding

Aileen and her family were able to use PartnerHero housing in a safe area while they rebuilt their home. With the support of the GoFundMe campaign, PartnerHero provided them with clothes, cleaning supplies and even found a dog hotel where their pets could stay while the family was displaced in a hotel.

When asked about the impact of the support, Aileen was adamant that she doesn’t know what her family would have done without support from the GoFundMe. “PartnerHero provided everything. From cheering words to lift up our spirits, to clothes to wear, food to eat, shelter, snacks… absolutely everything. PartnerHero doesn’t know that for me and my family, they acted like the family support we don't have."

"PartnerHero doesn’t know that for me and my family, they acted like the family support we don't have."

Carol Wood, another PartnerHero employee, lives in the La Lima neighborhood with her mother, father and grandmother. To prepare for the hurricane they raised up their furniture and personal belongings on bricks, a precaution they always take before a big storm comes. Hurricane ETA was unlike past storms and within what felt like minutes eight feet of water was rushing toward them. Carol gathered whatever important personal belongings she could including their passports and helped her family get to an elevated highway. The path to get there was treacherous and included walking over a dam that was breaching. They spent the next month and a half living with friends and family as everything in their home was lost in the storm. Carol was grateful for the support provided by PartnerHero during a time when many from her neighborhood felt like they were left without much support from the Honduran government.

“Partnerhero was very helpful. They offered me and my family a place to stay, they offered me clothes, food, transportation. Luckily I had clothes and food and could stay at my aunt’s so I told PartnerHero to make sure others got the support. We got cleaning kits from PartnerHero which my mom absolutely loves. We also received financial help. To support themselves, my parents own a small sausage-making operation. It doesn’t generate a lot of revenue for them, but enough to get by. The storm ruined their equipment and with the support from PartnerHero I was able to help them get their business up and running again. I am so grateful for the physical and emotional support we received.”

Thank you again to everyone who contributed to this campaign. Your contributions, combined with the direct donations made by PartnerHero, had a huge impact on those affected by the hurricanes. The hurricanes were extremely challenging, the silver lining is seeing how this community can come together to support each other in meaningful ways.