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The Most Good: The Beginning

In 2017, three hurricanes devastated parts of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Watching the desperation of so many people in need unfold on live television, millions across America answered the call to help. I was fortunate enough to be one of those who had the ability and time to do so.

Putnam County officials pause preparations for a state-level briefing as Hurricane Irma approaches south Florida. A group of national guardsmen, led by a senior nurse, would soon venture out to the county's shelters to provide medical support.

While on duty with the Florida National Guard during Hurricane Irma, I had the honor to serve in a shelter housing hundreds of residents of a rural north Florida county.

For 36 hours, an Army medic and I joined a civilian EMT, a small group of police officers, and a host of dedicated teachers to look after our neighbors. Led by a principle that cared as much for these families as he did his own, we hunkered down for what we knew could be a life-threatening storm.

While Irma’s strongest winds pummeled the area, three shelterees needed to be evaluated and one had to be evacuated. Already burdened with evacuees from the coastal communities, the closest facility was already near capacity. After the winds relented, however, our patient was safely transported to the hospital where he had his hip mended following a fall and fracture.

Visal, a volunteer physician with ProejctHOPE, cares for a police officer in Ponce, PR. She had requested that we take care of her team last after all of the two thousand residents had left. She wanted to be certain that the police could continue to serve as a beacon of hope and strength for the city she loved.

Less than a month later, I joined a group of caring volunteers on a mission to Puerto Rico with a non-profit called ProjectHOPE. Armed with stethoscopes, a traveling pharmacy, and lots of heart, our transient group of ten drove around the mountain community of Jayuya and into the barrios of Ponce. While there, we cared for nearly a thousand people in the two short weeks I was there. Bolstered by the city’s churches, we were able to provide some much needed comfort to so many who had lost so much.

A group of ProjectHOPE volunteers, church leaders, local volunteers, and Red Cross personnel pause for a photo in an isolated barrio near Ponce's city center.

These experiences inspired me to find a way to give back right here at home. After returning home to Miami, I realized there was a need right here on my street corner. A month later, Curbside Consults was born.

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