Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Maria Relief

The people of Puerto Rico teeter on the edge of destruction. To lend a hand in preventing that, Woodlands has teamed up with the Jewish Community Center in San Juan and Hastings-based Family-to-Family to provide each of 10 families in the town of Loiza (15 miles east of San Juan) with $250 to help meet their most immediate needs.

Our congregation has been extraordinarily generous and many have asked to do even more. Clearly, $250 does not provide a family with replacements for all they have lost and so much is still needed. Listed below is information about some of our 10 families – the family members and additional pressing needs.

• As you look at the information below, if you choose to do more for a family and fill any of their needs, we suggest you do so through Amazon Prime, where you will not have to pay shipping charges to Puerto Rico for eligible items. (The cost of shipping often makes sending items from New York inefficient.) Have the item(s) you are purchasing sent to:

c/o Jewish Community Center of Puerto Rico
903 Avenida Ponce de Leon
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907

• Indicate that the purchase is a gift and sign it with your name + Woodlands Community Temple, White Plains, NY

• Let us know at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. what you have sent and the name of the family to whom you sent it.


The Jennie Matos Pizano family – a family of two
Jennie is a single 43 year old mom with one 16 year old daughter named Diois. Jennie is unemployed. The family lost all of their belongings because they lost their roof and the home flooded.
They are especially in need of skirts, quilts/comforters, towels and a backpack. (sorry – we don't have size information)

The Brenda Pizano Robles family - a family of eight
Family members are (we don't have the family relationships, but it looks like three generations):
Brenda - 61 years old - wears size 1X
Alexis - 62 year old man - wears size 34 pants; medium/large shirts
Liza - a 35 year old woman - wears size medium tops
Julianne - a 10 year old girl - wears size medium
Olga - a 42 year old woman - wears size large
Joribe - a 21 year old boy - wears size 32 pants; size large shirts
Christopher - a 19 year old boy - wears size 32 pants; size large shirts
Carmen - a 46 year old woman - wears size medium
This family's home was flooded and they had no insurance.
They are in need of everything but especially pants, shirts and skirts, towels, bedding, and a lunchbox and backpack for Julianne.

The Suger J. Cruz M. family - a family of two adults
Suger - a 41 year old woman - wears size 11/12 pants; size large shirts
Edgardo - a 55 year old man - wears size 38-40 pants; large shirts
Because of the wind and rain, Suger and Edgardo lost most of their belongings.
They are especially in need of dress clothes and bedding, including a queen sized comforter, sheets and pillows.

The Francisca Fuentes family - a family of one elderly senior
Francisca is a single, 81 year old woman – wears size small clothing. She had no insurance and lost everything. 
She is especially in need of towels, full size sheets and dress clothes.

The Elizabeth Rodriguez Millan family - a family of three
Elizabeth is a single, employed mom with two children. Family members are:
Elizabeth - the mom, 32 years old
Adonis - a 9 year old boy - wears size 12
Eliane - a 2 year old girl - wears size 2T
The storm caused a fire in their home and their furniture, all clothing and other belongings were lost. She had no insurance.
They especially need clothing, bath towels and hand towels, comforters/quilts, sheets, pillows, lunchboxes and backpacks for the children.

The Ines Pizarro Parrilla family - a family of three
Ines is a single mom with two children. Family members are:
Ines - 63 years old - wears size 2X
Omairis - a 15 year old girl - wears size X-large
Juan - an 18 year old boy - wears size large
During the storm water entered their home through the windows and doors, which were heavily damaged by the winds, and they lost most of their belongings.
They had no insurance to cover their losses.
They are especially in need of bedding, including comforters, sheets and pillows, and bath and hand towels, a bath mat, shower curtain, a backpack and lunchbox for the 15 year old girl, and school clothes. Ines writes that they are also in need of mattresses and nebulizer type respirators.

The Maite Rodriguez Millan family - a family of four
This family lost absolutely everything they had, and has no insurance.
Maite is a single mother with three children. The family members are:
Maite - the mom, 33 years old - wears size medium
Maite Ashlee - an 11 year old girl - wears size 12
Leandro - a 9 year old boy - wears size 8
Adriana - a 7 year old girl - wears size 6
They are especially in need of clothing, quilts/comforters, sheets, pillows, towels, and backpacks and lunchboxes for the kids.

The Aleyda Fuente family - a family of two
Aleyda is a 62 year old mother living with her 38 year old son.
Aleyda - wears size small clothes
Her son - wears size 38 pants and XL shirts
They are especially in need of clothing, quilts/comforters, sheets, pillows, and towels.

Sonia Clemente Villaneuva family – a family of four
They lost everything they owned in the hurricane and had not insurance. Sonia works as a cashier
Sonia is 32
Omar is 31
Ricardo is 5
Cristal is 6
They are especially in need of backpacks and lunch boxes for the kids, pillow cases and sheets, bath mat, shower curtain, all kitchen items including dishes, glasses, pots, pans and cutlery.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, our congregants are eager to provide assistance. But, we also want to be sure the assistance goes where it can do the most good. In general, because of shipping, storage and distribution issues in these early days, we suggest that money is more useful than goods. There are many organizations out there ready to take our money. Here are some we feel comfortable with. This is a long-term problem, with our help needed for years. We will be adding to this list as we go forward, so check it out frequently.

URJ Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Supports the work of the URJ in providing temporary shelter and child care to those impacted by the hurricane.


Individual Reform Movement congregations

The URJ reports that Houston's Reform congregations are collecting gift cards (physical, not electronic) to distribute to those in their communities who face the greatest need. They request gift cards to stores such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Bed Bath and Beyond as well as the major grocery stores in the area, Kroger and H-E-B. Consider also cards that are good at any store (although you will pay a service fee for them) because they can be used at small local shops trying to get back on their feet. Donated cards can be mailed to any Houston-area Reform congregation for distribution:


  • ·Congregation Beth Israel, 5600 N. Braeswood Blvd., Houston, TX 77096 (a bit of info: This is the congregation in which Ellen Dreskin grew up and she and Billy were married)
  • ·Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd., Houston, TX77005
  • ·Congregation Beth Shalom of the Woodlands, 5125 Shadowbend Place, The Woodlands, TX 77381
  • ·Temple Sinai, 13875 Brimhurst Drive, Houston, TX 77077
  • ·Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism, 801 Berning Drive, Houston, TX 77057
  • ·Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway, Beaumont, TX 77701


Save the Children

Save the Children is working on the ground providing assistance to families who fled to evacuation shelters to escape the deadly storm and floods.


Afya Foundation

Afya is accepting both funds and items on a very specific list. They do have a drop-off point in Yonkers, but items not on the list should not be donated.


Family to Family

We worked with this Hastings-based organization after Katrina. They do an amazing job of connecting families to provide assistance. They have linked up with a Houston non-profit that is helping a population of hurricane victims who live below the poverty line.



Nechama, a Jewish disaster response organization, is engaging in muck and gut activities to assist homeowners. Their teams are right there, doing the physical cleanup work.


Austin Pets Alive

The organization is particularly successful at housing and moving animals out of impacted areas.

Hurricane Irma Relief

The URJ advises us that, as of now, donations for Hurricane Irma relief through the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) would be useful. Florida is an area of strength for the Federation system, with a dozen highly effective federations ready to coordinate assistance in their local communities.
To donate: