Post-Hurricane Maria: How YOU Can Help Puerto Rico

Aerial photo of the floadings in the costal town of Loiza, in the north shore of Puerto Rico. Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo / The Washington Post

Aerial photo of the floadings in the costal town of Loiza, in the north shore of Puerto Rico. Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo / The Washington Post

Over the last few days it has been absolutely heartbreaking to see the widespread devastation to the island of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Local officials have described the current scene as apocalyptic. It is nearly impossible to leave the island, little aid is coming in, most residents are without power and water, there is extremely limited communication, and basic needs such as water and gasoline are being rationed.

Please don't forget about the people of Puerto Rico. And please continue to pray. The island is far away and so often overlooked, but is home to 3.5 million Americans who pay taxes and serve in the U.S. Military, and every single one of them has been affected. Among these are families who welcomed us into their homes and churches, high school students who shared their lives with us, and people who have become lifelong friends. If you would like to donate towards the relief and long-term rebuilding, here are a few ways to do so.

Young Life Disaster Relief Fund

Young Life Puerto Rico began in San Juan almost ten years ago, and has spread to several different cities across the island, including Young Lives (a ministry for teen moms) and Vida Joven (Spanish speaking public school ministry). The funds raised will go towards assisting the many staff members and families whose homes and possessions have been completely destroyed, help local ministries experiencing a decrease in local support, and providing campership support for kids who no cannot afford to attend camp. In order to designate these funds please click on "In Honor" button and write in Puerto Rico.

Love the Nations Hurricane Relief Puerto Rico

In partnership with Agape Flights, Tender Mercies, and Water Step; Love the Nations has been packing up planes in Tampa, Florida with food and supplies to send to the island. They have boots on the ground distributing and caring for Puerto Ricans in need. The supplies they are sending include chainsaws, generators, gas containers, water filtration systems, as well as meals and other resources. Additionally, on September 28th they will be transporting enough meals to feed 60,000. To donate to these organizations, follow the link to their GoFundMe page.

Hogar Mis Primeros Pasos

Hogar Mis Primeros Pasos is a home for children who have been removed from their families due to severe abuse and neglect. During the hurricane, part of their roof was blown off and are trapped in the small one bedroom house with water surrounding them like a moat. They are without electricity and running low on drinking water in their cistern. Consider donating online via PayPal to help with relief supplies as well as long term costs of rebuilding.

Hurricane Maria Rebuild Effort PR

Our good friends Mike and Vicky Basile live in Dorado, Puerto Rico with their 6 month old twin girls. They are wonderful people and very connected within the community. They will be working with faith communities and trusted leaders in the town to make sure all donations are directed towards rebuilding efforts for those in desperate need.

Trinity Church Puerto Rico

Trinity Church has been, and will continue to distribute food, water, and supplies across the island. They are serving families within the community who are in desperate need and have yet to receive government assistance. Please consider donating to the church we called home during our time on the island via the PayPal link provided.

Calvary Chapel Puerto Rico

The church will be serving as a distribution hub for supplies and aid as well as providing housing for short term relief teams. Members are already on the ground in Puerto Rico rebuilding and serving the community, as well as organizing large container shipments of supplies from the mainland.

Comunidad MarAzul

Use the link, or text PRHELP with amount to (787)416-0776 to donate towards Mar Azul's relief efforts. The church has a very close relationship with Young Life Puerto Rico and is raising money to provide hurricane aid and relief to the large community they serve.

Iglesia La Travesia

You can make tax-exempt donations through PayPal to Iglesia La Travesia in San Juan led by Pastor Ronnie Garcia. Donations will go towards hurricane relief efforts in the community in which they live and serve.

Second Union Church

Second Union Church has set up a fund for aid to victims in the link provided. You may also send items, once postal services resume, to Second Union Church for distribution. Most needed items: small inverter generators, battery powered fans, diapers, formula, canned food, new clothes, water, first aid, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, OTC medications, garbage bags, towels (please no used clothes). Second Union Church • Urb Alto Apolo • 2109 Mileto St • Guaynabo, PR • 00969

Unidos Por Puerto Rico

United for Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth by the First lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María. In addition to donating directly online, you can also donate to this cause through the crowdfunding page Students with Puerto Rico, 100% of proceeds goes toward Unidos Por Puerto Rico.

ConPRmetidos Puerto Rico Real-Time Recovery Fund

ConPRmetidos, in partnership with Foundation for Puerto Rico, exists to connect people in order to foster commitment with the personal, social, and economic development of Puerto Rican communities, wherever they are. 100% of donations to this fund will go exclusively to long-term relief for the victims of catastrophic Hurricane María in Puerto Rico.

J.J. Barea Hurricane Maria Relief Fund

Dallas Mavericks player J.J. Barea, a native Puerto Rican, is organizing relief flights between the mainland and Puerto Rico using the team plane to bring food, water, and other necessities to the island. All donations will go towards immediate relief efforts, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding.

Thanks for your support,

Morgan & Austin

An aerial view shows the flooded neighborhood of Juana Matos in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Catano, Puerto Rico. Ricardo Arduengo / AFP / Getty

An aerial view shows the flooded neighborhood of Juana Matos in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Catano, Puerto Rico. Ricardo Arduengo / AFP / Getty

Resident looks at the damage done to a neighbor's house in Yabucoa. Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

Resident looks at the damage done to a neighbor's house in Yabucoa. Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

After the passage of Hurricane Maria, a man rides his bicycle through a storm-damaged road in Toa Alta, neighboring town to Dorado, Puerto Rico.Ricardo Arduengo / AFP / Getty

After the passage of Hurricane Maria, a man rides his bicycle through a storm-damaged road in Toa Alta, neighboring town to Dorado, Puerto Rico.Ricardo Arduengo / AFP / Getty

Power lines down across roads in Humacao, on the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico. Carlos Gustizap / CNN

Power lines down across roads in Humacao, on the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico. Carlos Gustizap / CNN

Hoeft Wedding | 3.12.16

I'm so excited to share some photos from the beautiful Hoeft wedding with y'all today!

This was one of the first full commissioned wedding suites I've created, and throughout the process there were many lessons learned. Some ups and downs,  a little bit of trial-and-error, and a few communication barriers trying to do business in a different language here in Puerto Rico (but shoutout to RedStone Visual in Fort Worth, TX for kindly working with me from afar to print these beauties.)

Alice and Mike were the best clients, an absolute joy to work with! Alice has such a creative eye, and I love the way the navy lettering and envelopes pair so perfectly with the light pink and light turquoise watercolor backgrounds.

Enjoy!

VENDORS: Photography: Anna Smith Photography // Florals: Vella Nest Florals // Ceremony: Robert Carr Chapel // Venue: 809 at Vickery  // Hair and Makeup: Pretty On Premises

HAPPIEST HOLIDAYS xo, Olive & Co.

Well, it's that time of the year folks, Holiday Season is upon us! Which means a lot of holiday prep in the world of Olive & Co. Designs....

Honestly, it has been especially hard for me to get in the Christmas spirit this year (even though my entire town has been decorated for Navidad since literally the day after Halloween- seriously... lights galore, Feliz Navidad signs, even a few life-size nativity scenes). I'm one of those "you can't get excited about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over" kind of people... plus the fact that it's sunny and 95 degrees almost every day here in Puerto Rico doesn't help. Don't get me wrong, 365 days of beach appropriate weather is wonderful most of the time... unless you just want to pull out a scarf and boots and drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte in a Fall-like climate and think about the holidays. But, with the help of an oscillating fan, I was able to embrace it and get some Holiday creations finished and added to the shop!

This year I've created six fun Holiday Greeting Cards! The 5x7 inch greeting cards are hand watercolored by me, and blank on the inside. They're the perfect way to send some holiday cheer to loved ones, or to add a little handmade love to a Christmas gift! I'm also offering 8 different Family Christmas Card templates, where you can upload your family photo. Stay tuned, they will be available for download tomorrow! For more information check out the OLIVE&CO Etsy Shop (under "Shop" in the website menu above). Also, don't forget to check out my custom orders on Etsy! I'd love to create a custom piece for you to hang or give as a special gift this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

xoxo, Morgan

NEW DOWNLOADS IN THE SHOP!

New downloads in the shop! These downloadable prints are available for purchase on my Etsy page, here.

For this line, I wanted to create some minimal pieces with black watercolor paint on white paper. These pieces are neutral enough to work in any room, and are perfect for mixing and matching in a gallery wall. They are all hand-lettered by me, then digitally formatted to an 8x10 inch image. These prints are available for immediate download, once purchased you can download the file and print it at home!

Plus, because you guys are awesome, you can use the coupon code 'BLACKANDWHITE' for 5% off the price! The coupon will expire Saturday 6/27.

 

xoxo, Morgan

Wednesday Freebees

Because it's Wednesday, we've made it halfway through the week, and free stuff is fun! So here are some downloadable OLIVE & CO iPhone wallpapers!

The links are at the bottom of the page. Click on one and it should open a new webpage, from there you can save the file to your phone!

We Are The Dreamers - iPhone 5

We Are The Dreamers - iPhone 6

We Are The Dreamers - iPhone 6 Plus

 

XOXO - iPhone 5

XOXO - iPhone 6

XOXO - iPhone 6 Plus

 

Glorious Mess - iPhone 5

Glorious Mess - iPhone 6

Glorious Mess - iPhone 6 Plus

 

Hope you enjoy!

XOXO, Morgan

 

(p.s. if you're having trouble saving to the iPhone 6 Plus, let me know. Once you click the link from the blog, a new page will open. Click the button in the top right corner > then 'Open in Safari" > then save the picture from there. Then it should work!)

Year One.

It has been officially one year since the happiest day of my life, the day that I said "I do" to my best friend. In our first year of marriage we travelled around Europe, packed up and moved to Puerto Rico, started new jobs, adopted the sweetest miniature Australian Shepherd puppy, celebrated a lot of successes and also struggled through a lot of failures.

Jones Wedding493.JPG

Each day is a new adventure, literally. Each day we are figuring out how to simply live in this new place. How to create a gallery wall or hang a shelf when the walls are made of solid concrete, how to store food so that it doesn't rot in one day and then how to dispose of it so that we don't have an infestation of ants and other critters (one of the glamorous sides of living in the tropics), how to get medical attention when you wake up with an allergic reaction and a throat swollen shut, what to do when the radar shows a tropical storm that is bigger than the entire island headed your way. Daily errands that used to take an hour, take a whole day. Not having a Hobby Lobby, Target, or Chipotle IS NOT EASY. And then there are always the unavoidable encounters when you are unable to communicate, because you took French in school instead of Spanish and you live in a Spanish speaking place. As we figure out how to simply live in this new place, we are also figuring out each day how to love each other better. How to be patient with each other. How to put aside our own crap, and care more about the other's. How to forgive. How to show grace. How to encourage each other. How to rely on the Lord.

This year has been one of the hardest, but hands down the best. I wouldn't trade it for anything (although the idea of having central AC again does make it pretty tempting- kidding, kind of). This experience has forced us to wake up each morning, be pushed out of our comfort zones, rely on Jesus, and become closer to each other in the process. We are a team. And sometimes it feels like its the Jones' vs the world... But I am so thankful for our little team, and all that has shaped and sharpened us into it.

Here are a few of my favorite photos of the special day, and some of the decorations! Photos by the talented Haley Rynn Ringo.