Mission 500, the non-profit supported by the security industry and dedicated to serving the needs of children and communities in crisis, completed its second trip to Puerto Rico to assist families still struggling from the devastating damage of Hurricane Maria.

Thirty Mission 500 volunteers lent physical support and financial assistance to two families this year. One house was essentially rebuilt from the foundation up by reinforcing unstable flooring, and installing new siding and a new roof. The second house received a small addition and a new bathroom that replaced an old outhouse. One house received a new washing machine, and the other received a new refrigerator. The team also provided new bed sheets, carpet and doors for bedrooms to provide improved living conditions for the families.

Volunteer support came from representatives of 11 companies, including ADS Security, Altronix, Axis, Brinks, Core Logics, Five Alarm Security, Galaxy Systems, Gould Alarm Communications, Hikvision, Milestone, Resideo and WeSuite.

“Unless you have spent time in these communities, it’s hard to understand the enormous impact of these tangible, real actions on the families we help,” said George Fletcher, Mission 500 advisory board member. “We added an 8 by 8 foot addition and a full bathroom to one home, for example. The main breadwinner of that family has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and will no longer have to use the detached outhouse that the family had been living with. Maybe the best thing about a program like this is that both the families we help and the industry volunteers benefit. Bonding, lifelong friendships and touching families’ hearts — these intangibles also deliver life changing impacts.”

“The service trip was beyond all expectations,” said Ronnie Pennington, national sales engineer, Altronix. “Thirty volunteers started this journey as strangers and left as a family with a bond that will last a lifetime. Our collective ability to provide hands-on assistance to two families in need was both rewarding and very humbling. It is a life experience I urge others to consider should the opportunity present itself.”

To donate or volunteer to Mission 500, visit https://www.mission500.org/ or contact Tom Nolan at tnolan@mission500.org.