Above: Summit attendees working with World Central Kitchen during the NetHope Service Project Day.
By Lauren Woodman, CEO, NetHope
Every year when planning our Summits, we challenge ourselves to offer new, relevant experiences and opportunities for attendees. For this year, since we were returning to Puerto Rico, we decided to find some way to give back to the island. So, it seemed fitting to perform service projects that would provide a way for us to leave something behind to benefit the people and the organizations that have been working to return, and improve, Puerto Rico after the hurricanes of 2017.
We worked with several of our member organizations to create hands-on projects for Summit attendees. These include:
- Home rehab with Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico and SBP
- Native tree planting with Para la Naturaleza
- Supporting smallholder farmers with World Central Kitchen
- Transforming a public school to support San Juan students
Supporting smallholder farmers with World Central Kitchen.
Puerto Rico holds particular significance for many NetHope members, partners, and funders due to both the collective response to the hurricanes and several ongoing operations. Each of these projects represents a facet of recovery that will help improve the environment and the lives of those most affected by the storms. They symbolize how important it is to translate vision into action, which engenders hope.
Said Neil McCollum, the Director for International Information Technology for Habitat for Humanity: “Habitat for Humanity International was honored to be chosen by NetHope as one of the service projects for their Summit Service Day. It illustrates the collective commitment of these individuals and organizations to participate in improving our local communities all while busy with the Summit. NetHope was here for us after Hurricane Maria and has continued that commitment today.”
Rehabbing a house with Habitat for Humanity - Puerto Rico.
Other attendees engaged in the Alternative Energy workshop, which focused on adoption of sustainable power sources, and the Humanitarian Drone training, where they explored the applications for humanitarian response.
On this last day of the NetHope Global Summit 2019, we wish to thank everyone who participated—members, partners, funders, sponsors, venue staff—but especially want to salute those who dedicate their lives and resources to helping improve the world we share, whether that be a nonprofit or a company or a funding organization. While we are united in utilizing technology as our tool to accomplish this, it is the intelligence, persistence, and compassion of the single individual that makes these efforts happen.