At the heart of LSQ’s commitment to their clients is an even deeper dedication to their employees and community. For LSQ’s Puerto Rican employees, the devastating earthquake that shook the beautiful island on December 28, 2019, hit close to home. This string of earthquakes came in the wake of Maria – the category 5 hurricane that left nothing but destruction in its path back in 2017. The residents of the island had just begun to recover when a string of earthquakes hit unexpectedly.
The island continues to be in distress with buildings continuing to collapse, essential services and utilities being limited, infrastructure being compromised or wiped out, and natural treasures damaged beyond repair. This adversity can be seen in the lives of residents, many of whom have homes that were destroyed and are now forced to sleep in the streets. Alondra Berio, an LSQ Account Manager who visits Puerto Rico often with her children, commented on how it’s difficult to see buildings crumbling that contained so many cherished memories. Such as a church that was destroyed where Melissa McGuire-Maniau, a Regional Business Consultant, attended the baptism of her friend’s baby.
After seeing stories on the news and hearing of them from friends and family, Derek Garcia, an LSQ Accounting Clerk, mobilized his Puerto Rican colleagues to form LSQ’s Puerto Rican Heritage Lunch Fundraiser. The team consisted of 14 employees from various parts of the island coming together to make a difference. Their passion for this effort was apparent with their desire to quickly get this event up and running.
The buzz in the office was apparent, and the team was excited to share the flavors of Puerto Rico. The menu was written with a variety of different foods to share. At $5 a plate, $1 for dessert, participants could enjoy pastelón, yuca, pollo en fricase, arroz con salchichas/arroz con pollo, pernil/picadillo, and sancochito as mains. For sides, employees found arroz con blanco/habichuelas guisadas, maduros, and arroz con gandules. To top it off, the desserts were empanadas de guayaba, tembleque, flan, and sandwiches de mescla. All were consumed with great enthusiasm, many coming back to purchase additional plates.
The team was amazed and extremely moved by the positive response they received from co-workers and leadership. They agreed that it “Didn’t feel like work, it felt like family.” Their collaborative effort gave the event a sense of home and community. They were appreciative that many displaced Puerto Ricans will receive much needed assistance this year with the help of their colleagues.
The Puerto Rican Heritage Lunch raised, with a matching company donation, over $1,400. Additionally, a clothing drive was held in tandem, with employees bringing in over 20 bags of clothing. The donations will be directed to leadership at the Lions’ Club of Cidra, Puerto Rico and Latino Leadership, Inc. of Orlando, who will be intentional about distributing the funds and donations to the intended recipients.
LSQ has been organizing philanthropic events supporting the Orlando area for over 15 years. The wellbeing of the homeless, kids, animals, veterans and those impacted by natural disasters are the five areas of focus for 2020. It’s the passion and commitment to our community that is the heartbeat of LSQ.