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Women on a Mission | BE Resilient

The Boardroom Events team joined forces this month in Puerto Rico to offer some much-needed support and love to a community still recovering from last year’s multiple hurricanes


Much in the same way executives are challenged to step away from the office and their daily responsibilities to attend Boardroom Events’ Midmarket Forums, remote workers need to step away from their routines and experience a change of scenery to refresh their creativity.

Earlier this year, our Systems Administrator Sean Turgeon shared his family’s experience living and coordinating relief efforts in Vieques, Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.

Fast forward a few months, and BE partnered with Sail Relief to convene for a few days this summer and lend a hand. From clearing overgrown, debris-filled trails to help reopen a nature preserve to their time spent unpacking and sorting relief supplies in a distribution center, the impact made by those helping hands were needed. But the eye-opening experiences the island, its communities and fellow volunteers offered the relief team were immeasurable.

Memorable Moments

“We worked with Vieques Love who are helping hands on the ground making a daily and ongoing difference on the island,” shared Dawn Shultz. “On day one, we jumped right in sorting pallets upon pallets of mixed, donated supplies to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. It was hot, sweaty work!”

Teenagers from Apogee Adventures volunteering a portion of their summer break as part of a Caribbean Relief service trip also lent a hand.

“The logistical coordination to find storage for and then open, sort, inventory, organize, repack and distribute those supplies to the people who need it and when they need it is immense,” she added.

Filling and removing that first massive bag of debris from the one of the island’s breathtaking beaches was a highlight for Rachel Arace, and Melissa Park said one of her favorite days followed five grueling hours of clearing overgrown brush and fallen tree debris to clear a path to a secluded waterfall.

“We used chainsaws, machetes and faced our fears of creepy, crawling insects!”

For Hilary Badoian, who’s spent the better part of the last two years traveling and working around the globe with Remote Year, said the beach cleanup was the most poignant for her.

“It brought home the importance of finding an alternative to plastic and single use disposable items,” she elaborated. “I’ve participated in beach clean ups in 10 different countries, but this was the most meaningful. Vieques is such a small island with limited resources, so much of this garbage is clearly washing up from other places. Eight sets of hands and a few hours makes a huge difference, and we took great pride jumping into the ocean to play in the waves after a good day’s work!”

Wild horses seek the shade of a Royal Poinciana tree in the countryside of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

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