I spoke briefly with Melanie, who moved back to Philadelphia from Puerto Rico after the hurricane. By attending Sunday evening’s quiz at World Cafe Live, you’ll be helping out people like Melanie. Also, if you haven’t yet, check out the story about the event in the Philly Voice.
JGT: Where in Puerto Rico are you from?
Melanie: Santa Isabel, where I used to work at Famous Dave’s as a prep cook.
JGT: How did the hurricane effect you?
Melanie: After the hurricane hit, I lost everything. All of my belongings and my kids stuff. Water came through the roof, and destroyed diapers, kids toys, clothes, everything.
JGT: Are you originally from Puerto Rico?
Melanie: I actually grew up in Philadelphia. I thought that if I came to a place where I knew my way around, I’d be fine. But since then we’ve been bouncing around house to house.
JGT: Why are you staying in Philly instead of returning to Puerto Rico?
Melanie: FEMA wanted me to go back, but the house that I lived in, the owner has her family living there now, because they lost everything. So I don’t have anywhere to go.
JGT: What goals do you have here in Philly?
Melanie: My goal here is to get a steady place, and get back up on my feet, and provide for my kids.
JGT: How old are your kids?
Melanie: They are 3, 4, and 5, three boys.
JGT: Are they currently in school?
Melanie: It’s hard for me to find a school for them, because I don’t have a steady place to stay, and I don’t have any money for school supplies, so I’m not sure what to do.
JGT: Are you working now?
Melanie: I don’t have anywhere to take the kids while I work. But my husband works full time at WalMart. We just need the money for a down payment on a house. After that he’ll be able to take care of us and we’ll be able to pay rent. We just don’t have the money for the down payment.
JGT: Any last thoughts?
Melanie: We’re all in a difficult situation, and it’s nice to have people who are willing to help out.
If you’d like to help out but cannot attend on Sunday, feel free to donate here or you can paypal me at Johnny at johnnygoodtimes.com and I will give all of the money to Cheri Honkala, who is working to get these families housed.