Cicero Chaplain returns after volunteering to help residents in Puerto Rico

Cicero Chaplain returns after volunteering to help residents in Puerto Rico

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Cicero Chaplain returns after volunteering to help residents in Puerto Rico

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from a week long volunteer trip to Puerto Rico where he worked with communities there to help cleanup and restore properties for residents following the devastation caused by hurricane Maria.

Cicero officials donated funds to help cover the costs so Vargas could work as a volunteer among the thousands of volunteers who traveled to Puerto Rico in recent months.

“The devastation I saw was a lot to bear and every day we tried to help in every way possible. There is still no electricity or running clean water in many parts of the island. So we went out to serve many communities by bringing them food, medication, water filters, solar lights, messages of hope and much needed prayer. In many other areas, we were clearing roads that were filled with debris, placing roofs on many houses that had no ceilings, and digging out entire homes that are being affected by the mudslides currently happening due to all the water build up on the island,” Vargas said.

“After a long 10 days, I am happy to be back home and ready to continue serving our community in any way possible. I ask that we all continuously keep the island of Puerto Rico in our prayers as there is still much work to be done to help bring the island up and running as it was before. Thank you all again for your prayers in support and I hope to continue to serve our community with all of your help.”

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas (right) returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

Ismail Vargas helps distribute supplies, clothing and food to needy residents in Puerto Rico

Cicero Chaplain Ismail Vargas returned from Puerto Rico after volunteering for more than a week to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Ismail Vargas

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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