Whitehall resident launches hurricane relief effort
For Ricardo Menendez, a paramedic at Cetronia Ambulance Corps, the memories of when he had been deployed to Hurricanes Gustav and Sandy as a member of the Cetronia Strike Team came rushing back when the recent string of hurricanes devastated so many lives in the United States and Puerto Rico.
During Hurricanes Gustav and Sandy, Menendez, of Whitehall, was on the front lines of the devastation and even shared quarters with families affected by the disaster.
This time, although Menendez was not called for deployment, the news coverage of the devastation struck a chord and sent him on a mission to find some way he could help.
In October, Menendez launched Cetronia Ambulance Corps’ hurricane relief campaign, where staff and crews purchased a specially designed Cetronia T-shirt, with a portion of shirt sales going to the campaign, as well as staff and crews who made straight monetary donations. When the campaign concluded, Menendez and his fellow staff and crews collected $788 to be donated to The Salvation Army, where 100 percent of funds donated for hurricane relief are given to the hurricane relief and recovery efforts to help the families in need — including through local operations management — and provide food, water, supplies and emotional and spiritual care to affected families.
“In times like we’ve had, with all of the disasters going on, we all should come together and unite, no matter if we are close by or miles away,” Menendez said. “The smallest act of kindness you think you can do can bring the biggest smile to that person in need.”
Cetronia Ambulance Corps worked with Working Dog Press, Allentown, on the creation of the T-shirts for the campaign. When Working Dog Press owner Fred Fenselau heard what the T-shirts were for, he made no hesitation in agreeing to match $5 for every shirt sold. Fenselau upped his donation to $500 and sent a check to The Salvation Army in support of Cetronia’s campaign.
“Working Dog Press is pleased to have partnered with Cetronia Ambulance for hurricane relief,” Fenselau said. “We count The Salvation Army as a good friend, and we know the funds raised will get to those most in need in the affected areas.”