Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Effortsby  Ryan Raffoul 

July 5, 2018 |

As part of our company values, when one of our team members requested TRI-KES assist with hurricane relief efforts, it was only natural for us to get involved. Ryan Raffoul, on our customer service team, is originally from Dominica. As many of us are aware, in September 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Dominica and Puerto Rico and was declared the most intense tropical cyclone worldwide last year. TRI-KES flew Ryan to Dominica shortly after the hurricane so he could be there in person to assist. His grandparents lost their roof as well as most of their possessions with no real access to help. Ryan purchased solar phone rechargers, a satellite phone to text from since much of the country had no communication, tablets to purify water, and tarps to try and secure the roofs of his grandparents and others. He also worked on trying to secure a route to ship other supplies before he returned to Dallas. Following his travels, Ryan talked with TRI-KES about creating a clothing drive for those in need in Dominica.

The above photo shows Ryan standing with the donations that are packed and ready to ship. Below, Ryan shares his experience in his own words.

"Last year when Hurricane Maria hit Dominica, it was terrifying for a full week after not knowing about the well-being of my grandparents and a lot of my family members. It felt like Dominica was wiped off the map because very little reports were coming in from there. When I went back to Dominica a week after the hurricane to see about my grandparents, I was relieved that they were OK and that none of my family was hurt. I wish I could say the same for everyone in Dominica, but unfortunately, quite a number of people lost their lives. 

The majority of homes in Dominica lost their roofs, which led to people losing most, if not all, of their possessions. That’s what led me to work with TRI-KES earlier this year to start a clothing drive. Having witnessed this ordeal when I visited Dominica, I knew something had to be done to send assistance to those in need, as it will be a while before the island returns to normalcy. When we had the clothing drive at TRI-KES, I was moved by the amount of donations given. All of the donations will be distributed to the people most in need, and I thank TRI-KES for being so supportive of this. It truly touches my heart knowing that I work for such a great company. 

Thank you for taking the time to let me share my experience. My hope is that this will lead to more awareness of the situation in Dominica, as well as the other islands in the Caribbean."


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