Members of the Holy Family University community that would like to contribute to the Puerto Rico relief efforts after the devastating results of Hurricane Maria are encouraged to participate in the “One CAN Make a Difference” food drive taking place from October 2-25.
Coordinated by Sister Mary Ellen Gemmell, CSFN, former Principal of Academia del Carmen in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in Miramar, Puerto Rico, and Spanish instructor, the donations will be delivered to Caritas de Puerto Rico, a humanitarian group serving the needy in the area.
Sister Mary Ellen requests that canned foods, preferably with a pull-off lid, or cereal be donated. American Airlines will be transporting the goods for free at the end of the month. Donations can be dropped off at the loading dock near the rear of Stevenson Lane Residence. Additionally, there will be collection boxes at the elevators in Holy Family Hall, the Education and Technology Center, the Nursing Building, and the Library.
Sister Mary Ellen is also in need of shallow boxes for canned goods so that they are easier to transport during packing. Boxes can be dropped off at the loading dock of Stevenson Lane Residence.
"I have a missionary heart,” said Sister Mary Ellen. “I was sent to Puerto Rico in 1976 and returned to Philly in 2012. While on the island, I worked closely with families as teacher, principal, and associate superintendent, during which time I had direct contact with many people through the pastoral work, which was my mission. I consider Puerto Rico my home just as I consider Pennsylvania my home. All of us have an extended family; my extended family is in great need. I would do anything to help my family in Puerto Rico. His Excellency Roberto Gonzalez Nieves, Archbishop of San Juan is deeply moved by our solidarity with the people. He thanks us for our efforts and sends us his blessing. His daily prayers support us."
Joining Holy Family University in this initiative are Saint Katherine of Siena school and convent, Our Lady of Calvary school and convent, Nazareth Academy Grade School, Nazareth Academy High School, Christ the King, and Mount Nazareth.