Brethren Disaster Ministries — Volunteer Opportunities in Puerto Rico

Posted August 15th, 2018

Dear Church Family,

We have received notice from the BDM office that they are now recruiting workers for Puerto Rico.

Volunteers will be scheduled in small groups of 5-7 volunteers, beginning September 1 through the middle of December (excluding the week of Thanksgiving). We are hoping that most volunteers will stay at least two weeks (10 working days). The project will initially be based in Castañer but may move to another area once the work is completed there.

Help with Travel Costs:  As with the work in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Western Plains District is offering to reimburse Church of the Brethren members or returning BDM volunteers for a portion of the cost of air flights to and from Puerto Rico. Volunteers staying at least two weeks (10 work days), may have up to 50% of their airline costs covered.  Volunteers meeting those criteria may also receive reimbursement from BDM to cover the remaining amount.

Working Conditions:  Volunteers should be aware that the heat and humidity in Puerto Rico is significant, particularly if they are traveling from a cooler climate. Those contemplating volunteering on the island should consider their health and ability to endure strenuous work outdoors in a warm, humid climate. Volunteers should feel comfortable with heavy lifting and climbing ladders, often while required to wear safety gear.

Meals: We will also need volunteers who are willing to prepare meals for the group and welcome volunteers who offer to serve in this way. Groups that travel together should plan to include one person who can prepare meals. Meals will be simpler than at other BDM sites and will contain more rice and beans than normal.

The minimum age for volunteer participation is 16. Please contact Sharon Franzen for information on requirements for minors.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering in Puerto Rico, after considering the living and working conditions, should contact Sharon Franzen ( or 410-635-8731) with the dates they would be available. No one should buy an airline tickets until they are notified to do so.  Also please contact Bud or Susan Taylor, your district BDM coordinators

Since we have less than a month before volunteers are expected in Puerto Rico, potential volunteers wanting to be a part of the first groups, are urged to contact Sharon as soon as possible. Volunteers will be scheduled on a first-come first-served basis. We will work to schedule volunteer arrivals with others to coordinate travel in Puerto Rico.

Those who cannot serve are encouraged to support this effort with prayers.  Financial donations to BDM are always welcome.

Thanks for your prayerful consideration and for sharing this with others.

Bud and Susan Taylor

Brethren Disaster Ministries District Coordinators

620-245-4835 (Susan) and 620-245-4836 (Bud)

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