How to Help Puerto Rico

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"Help us, we are dying," said Carmen Yulín Cruz, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Courtesy CNN.

This hurricane season, three hurricanes caused a lot of damage in the United States: Harvey, Irma and Maria.

With Hurricane Maria, the damage that was done to Puerto Rico has reached crisis levels. Many news outlets have reported that people on the island are not getting the emergency supplies they need — food, water that is safe to drink and medical supplies.

Criticized for its reaction time to the devastating hurricane, the Trump administration has sent the army and others to the Puerto Rico and says it is committed to making sure the people of U.S. territory are safe. President Trump, who spoke of the island having “been wiped out” and of the massive rebuilding ahead, will visit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Oct. 3.

How can American citizens help their fellow citizens in the Caribbean? Here are a few suggestions.

= Save the Children, with persons on the ground in Puerto Rico, works with the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency — savethechildren.org.

= World Vision also has staffers on the island and is working with local groups — worldvision.org.

= The Friends of Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., is encouraging people to donate through Facebook and Paypal for its Hurricane Maria Recovery Fund — friendsofpuertorico.org.

= People can also help through AmazonSmile buy purchasing items that the organization has on its list to donate to people in Puerto Rico.

= The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund’s U.S. branch — UNICEF USA — is encouraging people to make donations at unicefusa.org.

A mere $28 is enough to “provide a kit containing basic, essential supplies such as water purification tablets, a water bucket with lid, water containers, soap, toothpaste, detergent and sanitary pads.” The people the donations are intended to benefit are children and their families so that they can be kept clean, healthy and protected from diseases.

= ConPRmetidos, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a nonprofit organization that calls itself a “Think-and-Do Tank,” has partnered with the nonprofit Foundation for Puerto Rico — foundationforpuertorico.org — and set up conprmetidos.org, a “real-time recovery fund,” where the money is meant to go to making assessments, doing long-term structural repairs for those who need it the most and restoring power.

Let’s not forget about Vieques, an island off Puerto Rico. It’s has been the hardest hit and is cut off, but supplies are arriving. Check out #viequesstrong for details and how to help.

 

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