It’s been a relentless hurricane season, beating and tearing through one US region after another. Mercilessly. Texas. Then Florida. Now the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
You already know this, because you’ve been watching the same footage and reading the same articles that I have, I’m sure. Listened to the same desperate pleas for help.
Maybe you already gave a donation in the aftermath of Harvey to help the folks in Texas. Or maybe you pitched in after Irma bashed through the Caribbean and hit Florida.
I’m asking you to join me in giving again, because what happened to our 3.4 million American family members in Puerto Rico has totally and completely crippled the island.
You probably already knew that residents of Puerto Rico have been citizens of the United States since 1917, and are entitled to the same kind of relief we extend to Texans and Floridians. I’m learning today that for many, that’s a surprise. Maybe it’s because they, like the residents of the District of Columbia, have no representation in congress, so people don’t necessarily know that they should care about them as fellow Americans.
I think that maybe, because of this crisis, we have an opportunity to show them even more care.
Because first Puerto Rico got clipped by Hurricane Irma, knocking out power to a million homes. That was back on September 7th. By the time Maria tore through, those people had been without power for almost three weeks. Now the entire island is looking at possibly six months before full power can be restored.
Also, there’s no clean water to drink. No gas. The diesel generators are fast running out in the hospitals.
Imagine how long you could go with no clean water to drink. No toilet to use. No cell phone service.
Now imagine having that to look forward to, for at least another 4-6 months.
Oh, and PS: you have no house anymore.
It’s miserable, but you can help alleviate some of the misery. Relief will just take time, rolled-up sleeves, and money. A little bit of yours will go a long way.
I’ve sent another donation this week and I hope you will, too. As every one of us in nonprofits knows only too well, every little bit helps.
Here are a few groups to consider (but as always, please do your due diligence before donating to any organization). Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Americares – directly provide emergency medicine, supplies, and medical outreach
GlobalGiving – From their website: “All donations to this fund will support hurricane recovery and relief efforts in the Caribbean. Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations responding to this disaster.”
One America Appeal – A fund initiated by 5 former US Presidents in direct response to these devastating natural disasters.
UNICEF-USA – a global leader in emergency response centered on helping kids and their families
United for Puerto Rico/Unidos por Puerto Rico – a new public/private partnership led by the first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in the wake of Hurricane Maria.