Boricuas de Corazón Inc. is a local Brandon nonprofit that helps victims of a natural disaster to reorganize their life after the event. Its mission is to provide first responder assistance to victims of any disaster in the U.S. and other countries in need.

Boricuas de Corazón Inc. is a Brandon nonprofit that helps victims of a natural disaster to reorganize their life after the event.

“We can provide resources and connections to get affordable housing, food, shelter, assistance with the Latino community in their languages,” said Boricuas de Corazón Inc. member Sandy Coronado. “We are now CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and DRT (Disaster Relief Team) certified.”

Its mission is to provide first responder assistance to victims of any disaster in the U.S. and other countries in need.

“We train and prepare civilians and volunteers to assist in hurricane disasters and handle humanitarian help,” Coronado said. “All of the assistance is coming from the community, private donors and government agencies. We want to continue training our volunteers and other communities to be ready and prepared at the time of any kind of disaster. Our special attention is to senior citizens, kids, low-income communities, homeless and immigrants.”

The group has been assisting those in need since March of 2018 after Hurricane Maria hit Florida and Puerto Rico.

“We assisted with all the families that had to be evacuated by FEMA and brought to Florida,” Coronado said, “some of them landing in Miami and Orlando initially and the next group came to Tampa, Tallahassee, Panama City—with this second group, we handled about 350 families. We provided food, furniture, medical equipment and shelter apartments in Panama City, Tampa and Brandon.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Boricuas de Corazón Inc. was ready to help those in need.

After “COVID-19 came to the states, we helped with supplies, serving food, hygiene products, cleaning products and PPE products to 37,100 families,” Coronado said. “We got a warehouse with the assistance of commissioners in Kissimmee and started assisting Orange, Osceola, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. We provided all kinds of supplies that our partners from other states sent to help our effort.”

The organization also helps its clients with other assistance as well.

“We’re providing Zoom classes with University of Florida’s EFNEP Program and recently graduated 16 people for classes in food and nutrition in February 2021,” Coronado said. “We are protecting our senior facilities by providing them with masks, gloves and sanitizers. We are providing masks and gowns to all free medical clinics that are assisting immigrants and people in need during this pandemic as well.”

To learn more about Boricuas de Corazón Inc. or to donate to the organization, visit www.boricuasdecorazoninc.com or call 954-496-1463.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.