When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September, it hit close to home for two employees at YKK AP America’s Austell, Ga., headquarters. Angel Baez and Veronica Acosta were among the employees whose families were affected by the storm.

“Those first few days of not being able to communicate with anyone on the island were incredibly stressful,” said Acosta, an office administrator. “My grandfather’s home requires extensive repairs to make it fully livable. Thankfully it was not a total loss and they are able to make it work.”

On October 30, YKK AP employees gathered at a rented warehouse in Norcross, Ga., to sort, organize, label and pack donations for delivery to families in Puerto Rico.

“To have the opportunity to help our friends and families, and to have management recognize our initiative and pay us for the day of volunteer work, was incredible. I was so proud to know that we were doing something to help the cause,” said Acosta.

Employees came together to help. The wellness committee took the lead and raised funds from colleagues to donate to relief efforts. It also connected with the Atlanta-based organization Serve the World. The organization helps people, businesses and churches across the country find ways to aid disaster relief, homelessness, and struggling families and children.

After learning about YKK AP’s efforts, Baez’s sister, who lives in Puerto Rico, wrote to him.

“As a Puerto Rican living closely to this sad situation and knowing the need of thousands of other Puerto Ricans that still don’t have anything, I feel more than grateful and happy that there are hearts full of love and willing to share,” she wrote. “I know it will be a great help to each person that receives these goods.  I’m more than grateful that all of you have come forward to help my island.”