Posted on December 10, 2017
This is my brother Francisco, aka Floyd. Ever since I can remember, he's had a great passion for helping people who are wheelchair-bound. Starting at 18 years old, he volunteered at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Realizing that most of the funds that they raised went to the organization’s headquarters in the US, Floyd decided to start a local volunteer organization to help people suffering from muscular dystrophy in Puerto Rico.
With a group of great friends, he co-founded Sin Paredes (Without Walls), a not-for-profit organization that helps people who are wheelchair-bound, regardless of the cause or level of their disability. Sin Paredes is best known for their summer camps, which are legendary celebrations of the abilities of the “disabled”.
The group organizes residential camps for adults and kids, some of whom have severe mobility limitations. At the camps, they laugh, swim, celebrate talent shows, and participate in arts and theater workshops.
My brother is known for his creativity and generosity, always volunteering extra hours to decorate theater sets and helping the campers with their artwork. Families all over the island adore Floyd as one of their own. He travels the countryside visiting the families multiple times a week. I've seen him get up from a restaurant dinner to introduce himself to a family with a child in a wheelchair. I've seen him leave a party to attend a camp participant's funeral. I've accompanied Floyd to the hospital bedside of an ailing Sin Paredes member.
Floyd is an angel to so many people.
Imagine how difficult it is for people in wheelchairs in Puerto Rico. Now imagine what it's like after the hurricanes. With their homes damaged, roads impassable, lack of electricity and so many other hardships it is difficult for everyone, especially those who already had impaired mobility.It is terribly sad that the site where the Sin Paredes camps used to be held was destroyed. But Sin Paredes continues to help these families in whatever ways they can. My brother's plan is to organize parrandas (somewhat like Christmas carols), at hospitals where wheelchair-bound children will be spending the holidays. Floyd has been visiting them with gifts and groceries, even though his own apartment was damaged during the hurricane and he still has no electricity. He also wants to help the families to build wheelchair access ramps that were destroyed in their houses.
Floyd and Sin Paredes will make sure that people with disabilities in Puerto Rico know that they are not forgotten. Sin Paredes receives no compensation for the hours of work that they put into this labor of love. I will personally match any donations that you earmark for Sin Paredes.
If you are looking for a great cause to support during this season for giving, please put Sin Paredes at the top of your list. Together we can help them help those in need in Puerto Rico.
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