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Power to the People

Categories: Community Stories, News/Blog

After six months without electricity,
Two Ten is helping to turn the lights back on.

Hurricane Maria was the most serious and damaging hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in history.

“We thought we were going to die,” one footwear employee told Two Ten. “My house was shaking. You could hear the firecracker sound of electrical wires snapping. One live cable hit the roof. I thought it was over.”

Six days after Maria hit, 40% of the island’s residents did not have drinking water. Only 15% of the island’s hospitals were operational. 10,000 shipping containers of food and emergency supplies were stranded in the Port of San Juan. There was no fuel and no vehicles to move emergency goods to the regions.  90% of all buildings on Puerto Rico were damaged or destroyed.

Ten days later, 55% or 1.87M people still didn’t have reliable drinking water.

And now, six months later as FEMA seems ready to reduce its footprint in Puerto Rico, the real work of rebuilding is only just beginning.

The Two Ten social services team have been extraordinary. Since Maria hit, we have received 311 calls from footwear employees in Puerto Rico, and delivered $150,422.

We have had tremendous on-the-ground support from Novus, Foot Locker, Shoe Carnival and Rocky Brands, whose caring footwear folks were our eyes and ears, helping us to understand and navigate the enormous challenges our colleagues were dealing with.  Our partners at Nordstrom offered emergency transport options, to support our efforts to get money and supplies to the island.

Our partners at Caleres, Crocs, Dansko, Deer Stags, DSW, Mark Fisher, Shoe Carnival, and Vibram provided additional funds, in total raising $150,000 for our relief efforts.

Most recently, Two Ten purchased and delivered 60 generators to families who are still living in homes partially destroyed by hurricane Maria. Both Foot Locker and Novus staff are coordinating distribution on the ground for us.

Every day of the year we hear about a natural disaster or another humanitarian crisis. These events typically have short life cycles in the media. Some heartbreaking accounts are written.  Shocking photos are shared. But behind the words and the photos… are people. Shoepeople.

That’s why Two Ten is here.

Neal Newman
President, Two Ten Footwear Foundation

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