Members of Holy Family University and the local community have contributed to a food drive to support the people of Puerto Rico who are still impacted by the results of Hurricane Maria. 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. A total of six pallets of food will be delivered, weighing around 11,000 pounds, and totaling about 5,000 cans.
A wide breadth of organizations came together to collect food for the drive, including Holy Family University, Alpha House Nursery, Pre-K, and Kindergarten, Nazareth Academy Grade School, Nazareth Academy High School, St. Katherine of Siena School, Christ the King School, Our Lady of Calvary School, Cheltenham Elementary School, Acme Corrugated Box Co. Inc., Mount Nazareth, Walmart, and Shoprite.
Marano Truck Lines provided assistance on packing the items, as well as donated several pallets to use during the shipping process.
"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."