Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, Rochester’s largest law firm, is extending a generous helping hand from the Flower City to those dealing with the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Officials from the firm presented a check for $21,850 to Jim Love, executive director of American Red Cross Greater Rochester Chapter, in the firm’s downtown headquarters this morning.
Craig S. Wittlin, Harter Secrest & Emery Managing Partner, noted that news of the devastation in Puerto Rico hit close to home, as several of the firm’s employees have close family members living there. A firm-wide, employee-driven fundraising effort was launched, and the firm matched the contributions made by its employees dollar for dollar.
“We’ve all seen the catastrophic damage and havoc the storm caused on Puerto Rico, and the employees at Harter Secrest & Emery wanted to help,” Wittlin said. “More than a month after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico and the northeastern Caribbean, countless people are still dealing with the aftermath and struggling to regain a sense of normalcy in their daily lives. We hope that, in some small way, we are able to aid in their struggle.”
Hurricane Maria originally made landfall on September 20 striking Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. It destroyed the island’s electrical grid while ravaging homes and businesses across the US territory. According to reports, about 70 percent of the island remains without power and many still do not have access to safe drinking water.
“It is impossible for us to even begin to imagine what those in Puerto Rico are dealing with, and have been dealing with, every day since the storm tore into their lives,” he said. “They have an incredibly long road ahead of them. More than anything, we want them to know that our thoughts, hearts and prayers are with them.”