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Homemade with Heart from Houston

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Puerto Rico resident with electric crews

This Puerto Rico resident celebrates the restored power by taking pictures with the electric crews and displaying a Texas flag covered with the linemen's signatures.

Dozens of Houston-based electric linemen restoring power to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico received a sweet surprise when their supervisor, Buzz resident Kenny Mercado, brought them a generous care package coordinated by his wife, Jill.

A few days before Kenny headed to Puerto Rico to join the team, Jill mentioned to a few West U neighbors that she had decided to bake homemade treats for the crews. The word spread. Jill put a cooler on their porch and bags of cookies and brownies kept magically appearing. 

Annika Bermudez, Mateo Bermudez

Annika Bermudez and her son, Mateo, add cookies to the baked goods collection cooler on the Mercado’s front porch. (Photo: Jill Mercado)

Jill estimates that nearly 50 people brought baked goods, including Jill Lack, Lara Lack, Alyssa Linton, Tany Klaes, Jessica McKelvey, Cindy Burnett, Brianna Mills, Debbie Yee, Colleen Akers, Tina Nguyen, Hillery Keith, Annika Bermudez, Susan Walker and Carol Barnwell. The final care package included about 2,000 cookies. Kenny had to pack a few extra bags to transport everything. There ended up being so many treats that the Houston linemen were able to share with other utility companies.  

“Kenny and I were just blown away by the awesome feedback we had from the community. The outpouring of support was overwhelming and we enjoyed discovering new friends and neighbors we had never met including many that had ties to Puerto Rico,” said Jill.  

Annika Bermudez and her son, Mateo, donated cookies for the Puerto Rico working crew. “I remember living on the island of St. Thomas when I was a child. Once after a hurricane, the lineman from the continental United States came to turn our family’s electricity back on. We had been without electricity for months.” 

Ryan Mercado

Ryan Mercado helps sort through the generous collection of donations. (Photo: Jill Mercado) 

The crews are working 16-hour days to repair the electric grid in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, which is located in rugged, mountainous terrain with little to no road access due to the storm’s impact. They are away from their families for six weeks. 

Thanks to some thoughtful Buzz neighbors, the linemen’s challenging journey was made a little sweeter. They gave two thumbs up for the baked goods and many more thumbs up for inspiring them to power through their assignment. 

  • Lineman

    Happily eating his cookie, this lineman looks like a satisfied customer. (Photo: Kenny Mercado)

  • Power up with these cookies

    This baker gets the most creative packaging award with their "Power Up with These Cookies” label. (Photo: Jill Mercado)

  • Lineman
  • Power up with these cookies

More photos

Lineman

Happily eating his cookie, this lineman looks like a satisfied customer. (Photo: Kenny Mercado)

Power up with these cookies

This baker gets the most creative packaging award with their "Power Up with These Cookies” label. (Photo: Jill Mercado)

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