When disasters strike, heroes respond

Disasters are unpredictable, tragic and painful. As we flip through our news feeds or turn on the TV, we have all been witnesses to many natural disasters both domestically and internationally. For some, you might have even experienced these disasters first hand. Responding to the many disasters has been challenging, yet rewarding, as Giving Children Hope has been a flurry of activity these past few weeks. As each natural disaster occurred, our response to these disasters differed and continues to adjust based on a variety of factors including the condition of the impacted area, how accessible the disaster area is or what the most needed products are. In the case of Hurricane Maria and the massive destruction it has caused to Puerto Rico, getting resources to the now severely damaged Island means delivering these supplies by boat or plane.

Giving Children Hope doesn’t own a boat or plane, but lucky for us, some of our community partners and volunteers do. One of Orange County’s quiet heroes is Marty Burbank. Marty is a successful estate planning attorney, a private pilot, committed community leader serving in the Fullerton Rotary and a faithful Giving Children Hope volunteer. In response to the strong need of relief supplies in Puerto Rico, Marty and his friend Ryan stepped up to help transport these relief supplies. With the help of their friends John C. Manly, Esq. and his wife Jill Manly who donated the plane and the fuel, Marty and Ryan were able to deliver these relief supplies to Puerto Rico. Marty and Ryan filled the plane at the Fullerton Municipal Airport, which is right across the street from our warehouse, full of disaster relief supplies including hygiene products from Giving Children Hope, and flew them to Puerto Rico. While there, Marty and Ryan were able to bring a family back to the United States.

When speaking with Marty about his trip, he said, “What started as a trip to reunite a family, turned into also providing needed relief supplies to those in Puerto Rico. We filled the plane with as many relief supplies as we could for the trip. This was a real group effort with Giving Children Hope, and helping the people of Puerto Rico rebuild is going to take a long time.”

Giving Children Hope is blessed to have partners and volunteers like Marty!