Lending a helping hand. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Joyce Giraud is doing her best to help her native Puerto Rico after the U.S. territory was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Joyce, 42, opened up about her relief efforts in an exclusive interview with Life & Style.
“The moment the hurricane hit, I knew I needed to do something immediately. The feeling of seeing my beautiful island in such peril and knowing my people were in need was just heartbreaking,” the former Miss Puerto Rico said. “I set up a fundraising campaign, matched it personally to different charities, and to our local church.”
Additionally, Joyce is donating 30 percent of the proceeds from her synonymous haircare line to Amor en Acción, a small charity that she volunteers with in Puerto Rico. “They go to the most needy — especially children,” the brunette beauty told Life & Style. “And they help them directly.”
According to Joyce, the people of Puerto Rico are still in dire need of basic items. “They need so much. From drinkable water, food, and medicine to gas, tarps, toiletries, and shelter,” the actress — who moved from the Caribbean island to LA in 2001 — explained. “I personally have so many friends that have lost everything. The destruction and despair is bigger than anything you can imagine.”
While Joyce’s immediate family members who currently live in Puerto Rico are “OK within the circumstances,” some of her loved ones were hit hard by the natural disaster. “The first moment I was able to talk to my mother, she told me under tears that some of our family members had lost everything; entire houses flown away,” she told Life & Style. “Her house got flooded and windows broken, but she said to me, ‘We are alive and that’s what matters, the rest we will rebuild.’”
Though Puerto Rico still has a long way to go, Joyce, like her mom, is optimistic about the island’s future. “First, I was scared for my family, my loved ones, my island, my people. Then after I saw the destruction, I was simply heartbroken,” she recalled. “But my people are strong, resilient, and we will rise back!”
Joyce added, “There was a moment where you couldn’t see our little island from the satellite shot because 100 percent of the power was gone. But we saw it! Because the light of Puerto Rico comes from the heart of our people.”
View this post on Instagram
As we were getting ready to go to temple to #PrayForOurWorld I was explaining to my children about the devastating images they are seeing everywhere.My Leo cried & said it simply wasn't fair.Val was worried about his nana & my heart was 💔but staying strong for them. If you are looking for a way to help(just a little) please please look at the link in my bio. Every penny counts and I'm going to make sure that 100% goes to the people in need and not some salaries or burocracies. https://igg.me/at/UXRWvVpsfLw
In the wake of what Joyce describes as a “historic catastrophe,” the mom-of-two — who shares young sons Valentino and Leonardo with husband Michael Ohoven — was touched when her boys wanted to get involved. “I’ve always taught them the importance of giving back and being grateful for all their blessings in life. Right now, they have a prayer every night for the people of Puerto Rico,” she revealed. “And they want to do a lemonade stand to send their help.”
To send your help, visit JoyceGiraud.com.