Latin Times Magazine 1st Quarter 2018 - Page 12

Brenda Marie Irizarry

“ Lots of families have moved to Florida , leaving behind all they had , whatever was left from their homes , they ’ re families etc . We are helping them through Missions of Miracles . ORG , I created this organization to continue helping , with first aid supplies , food , clothes , anything and everything you can think of that you need when you move ( or flee ) to a new country with nothing , or very little in your hands .”
by : Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla
Meet Brenda Marie Irizarry , Creator / Owner at Tampa Glam Squad , National Sales and Marketing Director at Stay Connected – Cellphone Chargers and National Sales and Marketing Director at Homeland Intelligence Technologies . All around HERO for Puerto Rico ! I had the pleasure of meeting Brenda many years ago – unfortunately , throughout the years we lost touch , however I can honestly say that she is a blessing to our community – both here in Tampa , as well as in Puerto Rico . It takes courage , heart and foresight to be a leader …. Brenda has all of these things -and more , she made the Tampa operation possible , by opening the doors to her warehouse and by building the team needed … Thank you Brenda for leading the charge !
Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla : What is your background , and where were you raised ? Brenda Irizarry : I was born and raised in Mayaguez , PR , by my parents Edwin Irizarry , Isabel Cancel . I have 3 sisters and 7 nephews and nieces . To make a long story short , I moved to Tampa when i was 27 , taught myself English and started working as a nail tech . I worked at the same spa for over 7 years . Now I ’ m a retired esthetician , working as the National Sales and Marketing Director of Homeland Intelligence Technologies and the mom of our puppies . Also , a volunteer for COAPR and I am the founder of M . O . M .
Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla : Take us back to the days leading up to September 20th , 2017 ; as Hurricane Maria made its way toward the Island of Puerto Rico . – how did you feel , and what went through your mind during those hours when the storm was ravaging the island ? Brenda Irizarry : To be honest I never thought the island would get hit as bad as it did . I went to bed the night before after talking to a few friends ( Marrian , Christine etc ) about collecting goods to “ mail ” to our families if they needed it . I made a group on FB called “ Donations for PR ” and started adding friends . The next day when I saw what happened , and was not able to communicate with my family , I told my boyfriend Richard Trela that I was going to take my leftover supplies from Hurricane Irma to our office / warehouse on Gandy , and the mission started . I sent a few messages to local news stations and the word got out pretty quickly . People started bringing supplies to our office and the rest is history , as they say . Our dear friend Evelio Otero was one of the first one to respond and offer to use his organization COA to collect the goods and help with the shipping . Little did he know , it would get as big as it did .
Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla : Tell us about September 21st , 2017 for you …. Were you able to reach your family ? Brenda Irizarry : My parents were here visiting , they got here before Irma hit PR and FL . They ’ re flight got cancelled because of Irma . ( they were another big reason why i started doing something about it too ) We didn ’ t hear from my family until after a week the storm . My nephew Odrik called me from a land line and i lost it , cried what i couldn ’ t cry before because my focus was on doing something . Thanking the Lord as I heard my nephew and found out that everyone was ok . There was no power , no water , no internet service , but everyone was alive and they were together helping each other . That gave me more strength to keep moving forward .
Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla : Tell us about the Tampa team , the people and organizations behind the efforts ; I know it was a big team of people that jumped in immediately to help ; who would you say played a major part in the relief efforts . Brenda Irizarry : Tampa Team – COAPR was born when Maria hit PR . Evelio didn ’ t even blink and offered his organization to help ship all the goods , emergency supplies , generators , etc . I feel that we were all put there for the same purpose , to help our Island . There was count-less sleep deprive nights , so many tears , old friends , new friends , meetings , boxes , trucks , containers , volunteers ( 500 the first Saturday we started collecting ).. many stories of volunteers hearing from their families for the first time while helping us pack supplies to be shipped over … that made it all worth it .
Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla : What obstacles did you encounter , and how were you able to overcome them ? Brenda Irizarry : We were all learning throughout the process . None of us was ever in charge of an Emergency Relief effort that was this big . We never thought it would get this big . We just pushed thru and we made it happen because we had to make it happen . I am eternally grateful for all the angels that made it happen . Evelio , Rich , Luis , Jose , Marrian , Bill , Antonio , Edwin , Lisa , Arlene , Kelvin , Linda , Edwin I ., Isabel , Walter , Andy , … and so many more angels and I will forever be grateful to each of them .
Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla : Have you visited Puerto Rico since the Hurricane ? Brenda Irizarry : I haven ’ t visited , I didn ’ t want to be burden to them , you know another mouth to feed ., etc , I thought and still think that i could do more from here …. I am going , I have to go , I am not sure when …. I still have so much to do here .
Read entire interview online : www . LatinTimesMedia . com
12 Latin Times Magazine www . latintimesmedia . com Abraza el calor de tu cultura !
Brenda Marie Irizarry “Lots of families have moved to Florida, leaving be- hind all they had, whatever was left from their homes, they’re families etc. We are helping them through Missions of Miracles. ORG, I created this organiza- tion to continue helping, with first aid supplies, food, clothes, anything and everything you can think of that you need when you move (or flee) to a new coun- try with nothing, or very little in your hands.” by: Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla Meet Brenda Marie Irizarry, Creator/Owner at Tampa Glam Squad, National Sales and Mar- keting Director at Stay Connect- ed – Cellphone Chargers and National Sales and Marketing Director at Homeland Intelli- gence Technologies. All around HERO for Puerto Rico! I had the pleasure of meeting Brenda many years ago – unfortunate- ly, throughout the years we lost touch, however I can honestly say that she is a blessing to our community – both here in Tam- pa,as well as in Puerto Rico. It takes courage, heart and fore- sight to be a leader…. Bren- da has all of these things -and more, she made the Tampa op- eration possible, by opening the doors to her warehouse and by building the team needed… Thank you Brenda for leading the charge! Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla: What is your back- ground, and where were you raised? Brenda Irizarry: I was born and raised in Mayaguez, PR, by my parents Edwin Irizarry, Isabel Cancel. I have 3 sisters and 7 nephews and nieces. To make a long sto- ry short, I moved to Tampa when i was 27, taught myself English and started working as a nail tech. I worked at the same spa for over 7 year ̸9܁'eɕѥɕѡѥ)ݽɭ́ѡ9ѥḾ5ȴ)ѥɕѽȁ!%ѕ)Q́ѡȁ̸)ͼٽչѕȁȁ =AH$ѡ)չȁ4<4)ݡЁݕЁѡɽ՝ȁɥ)ѡ͔́ݡѡѽɴ݅́Ʌم)ѡͱ) ɕ%ɥQЁ$ٕ)ѡ՝ЁѡͱݽձЁЁ́)Ё$ݕЁѼѡЁɔѕ)хѼ܁ɥ̀5ɥ ɥѥ)ьЁѥ́ѼqtѼ)́ѡ䁹и$ɽ)qѥ́ȁAKtхд)ɥ̸QЁݡ$ͅ)ݡЁ݅́ЁѼ)չєݥѠ䁙䰁$ѽ䁉)ɥIɐQɕѡЁ$݅́Ѽх)䁱ѽٕȁ́ɽ!ɥ%ɵ)Ѽȁ݅ɕ͔䰁ѡ)ͥхѕ$͕Ё܁́ͅѼ)́хѥ́ѡݽɐЁЁɕд)ե丁Aхѕɥ)ѼȁѡɕЁ́ѽ䰁́ѡ)ͅ丁=ȁȁɥٕ=ѕɼ݅́)ѡЁѼɕȁѼ͔)́ɝѥ =ѼЁѡ)ݥѠѡ͡1ѱ)ܰЁݽձЁ́́Ё))酱AQ́)MѕȀа܁ȁ׊]ɔ)Ѽɕȁ) ɕ%ɥ5ɕ́ݕɔɔ٥̴)ѥѡ䁝Ёɔɔ%ɵЁAH)0QeɔЁЁ͔)%ɵѡݕɔѡȁɕͽݡ䁤)хѕͽѡЁЁѽ])eЁȁɽ䁙չѥѕȁ)ݕѡѽɴ5䁹܁=ɥ)ɽЁаɥݡ)ձeЁ䁉ɔ͔䁙́݅)ͽѡQѡ1ɐ)́$ɐ䁹܁չЁѡ)ٕ役݅́Qɔ݅́ݕȰ)݅ѕȰѕɹЁ͕٥Ёٕ役݅)ٔѡݕɔѽѡȁ)ѡȸQЁٔɔɕѠѼ)٥݅ɐ)ѡЁյѕѼ)ݡݽձԁͅ啐)Ёѡɕ̸) ɕ%ɥQQL =AH)݅́ɸݡ5ɥЁAHٕe)ٕɕ́ɝѥѼ)͡ѡ̰ɝ)̰Ʌѽ̰ь$ѡЁݔݕɔ)Ёѡɔȁѡ͔ͅѼ)ȁ%ͱQɔ݅́չе́ͱ)ɥ̰ٔͼѕ̰ɥ̰)ɥ̰ѥ̰̰Ս̰х̰)ٽչѕ̀ѡЁMɑݔхд)ѥѽɥ́ٽչѕ)ɥɽѡȁ́ȁѡЁѥ)ݡ́́Ѽ͡)ٕˊѡЁЁݽѠи))酱A]Ёх́)ԁչѕȰ܁ݕɔԁѼ)ٕɍѡ) ɕ%ɥ]ݕɔɹ)ѡɽ՝Ёѡɽ̸9́݅)ٕȁɝɝI)ЁѡЁ݅́ѡ́]ٕȁѡ՝)ЁݽձЁѡ́]Ё͡ѡ)ݔЁ͔ݔѼ)Ё$ѕɹ䁝Ʌѕհ)ѡ́ѡЁЁٕ)I1ե̰)͔5ɥ ѽ)ݥ1̈́ɱ-٥1ݥ$)%ͅ]ѕȰ䰃ͼ䁵ɔ)́$ݥɕٕȁɅѕհѼ)ѡ))酱A!ٔԁ٥ͥѕ)AՕѼIͥѡ!ɥ) ɕ%ɥ$ٕeЁ٥ͥѕ$e)݅ЁѼɑѼѡԁ)ѡȁѠѼь$ѡ՝)ѥѡѡЁձɔɽ)ɗ$$ٔѼ$)ɔݡ$ѥٔͼՍѼ)ɔ))酱AQ́Ѽѡ)酱AQ́ЁѡIѥɔѕ٥܁)́ѼMѕȀѠ쁅́Qѕѡɝѥܹ́1ѥQ5)!ɥ5ɥ́݅ѽ݅ɐѡѡ$܁Ё݅́ѕ)%ͱAՕѼIL܁ԁ()0ѥṔ4饹)܀ѥѥ͵)Ʌ鄁ȁԁձɄ