CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Last week when the Cleveland Indians played in Puerto Rico it wasn't just the team that made the trip.
A group of 27 leaders from around the community went as well with a mission of hope and help to rebuild after last September's massive hurricane.
"I would say there's a lot more work to do," Michael Jeans said after seeing the island with his own eyes. "If there was a message that we were asked to bring back or maybe that bubbles up and resonates with us is don't let the story get quiet. Don't let the light go out on Puerto Rico."
While the group was in Puerto Rico they helped with clean-up, met with the FEMA Joint Field Office and even helped plant 318 new trees in a reforestation project.
If you think about it, the residents of the island are too busy trying to rebuild their homes, they don't have time to plant trees.
"The bright spots were the resiliency of the people. I mean despite all that they have been through they just keep forging ahead with a sense of optimism," Marianne Crosley said who is the CEO of The Cleveland Leadership Center.
The group came back with three ways you can help Puerto Rico and the rebuilding:
- Travel there. Be a tourist and spend money.
- Donate again. You may have done so before but they still need help.
- Plan a service trip. Find a group willing to spend a few days helping on the island.
The reward for this group was some pretty good baseball when the Indians played the Minnesota Twins.
"It was real treat to be a part of perhaps an aside, perhaps a moment of exhale if you will, for some folks who when the game is over they're going to a different set of conditions but during that ball game it was electric," Jeans said.
The Cleveland Leadership Center is already considering a trip back sometime later this year to help again.
Those who are interested can contact the group.