Relief for Puerto Rico

Opportunities to Contribute and/or Volunteer Towards Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief and Find Resources for Displaced Families

This list was last updated on: 12/16/2017 @ 7:45 PM EST

ToaAltaHurricaneMaria

Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 morning, shortly after Hurricane Irma did, causing unprecedented devastation in the island. Below is a running list of opportunities to contribute and donate. It will be updated as opportunities to contribute arise or are identified. Please share.

  1. General/Online – Cash Donations
  2. Vieques Fund
  3. Culebra Fund
  4. Central Florida Relief Activities
  5. South Florida Relief Activities
  6. North Florida Relief Activities
  7. New York, PA, VA, DC, MD Relief Activities
  8. Other locations and ongoing efforts
  9. Logistics and Volunteering in Puerto Rico
  10. Finding Family Members – Status by Town
  11. Employment Opportunities
  12. Reporting Emergencies
  13. Travel/Airline Relief
  14. Pet Relief
  15. Status of Infrastructure Recovery
  16. Disaster Assistance Via FEMA
  17. Assistance for Families Moving to Florida
  18. Educational Opportunities for Displaced Students
  19. Appeal to Congress for Assistance

***

GENERAL/ONLINE – CASH DONATIONS

Please scroll down for a diversity of opportunities to donate online in any way you wish, sponsored by government, foundations, world organizations, relief groups, and individuals.

Acacia Network’s “Donate Ayuda Puerto Rico” Campaign

Acacia is a national multiagency network and the largest Puerto Rican non-profit organization in the U.S. with operations in Puerto Rico, They announced $1 million dollar donation for Puerto Rico relief. Acacia  has committed a $1 million dollars to kick off the AyudaPuertoRico/DonatePuertoRico campaign and to request matching funds from other community organizations, government, and private entities. (This group has been endorsed by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.)

Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund

Your tax-deductible donation to the Hispanic Federation will help some of Hurricane Maria’s most vulnerable victims recover from the storm. The Hispanic Federation is already facilitating the deployment of fully trained and certified first responders, including paying for the flight to Puerto Rico and the accompanying arrangements. These first responders—comprised of NYPD and FDNY members and others—will join relief efforts on the island and provide the technical support and expertise so badly needed. Relief efforts include everything from examining the structural integrity of buildings so individuals can safely return to their homes to providing basic supplies like food and clean water. MoveOn will cover 100% of the credit card expenses, so that more of your gift will go directly to those who need it most. The fund has already surpassed $1M.

To donate directly to the PR Hurricane Maria Relief Fund click here.

The Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund page gives donors the option to donate for the Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria fund and/or the Mexico Earthquake fund via a drop-down menu. You can access this donation page by clicking here.

You can also donate by purchasing the song “Almost Like Praying” that Luis Manuel Miranda and a number of famous Latin American artists have produced as a fundraiser for the cause of Puerto Rico Relief. You can purchase the heartwarming song here. You can watch the music video here.

Ricky Martin’s Fundraiser

Singer and performer Ricky Martin established fundraiser – 100% of donations will go towards the cause of Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief. The fund has surpassed $3.9M. Click here to donate. The singer has been traveling to Puerto Rico personally to deliver supplies on a weekly basis since the disaster struck the island.

“Dear friends, Puerto Rico is going through one of the toughest times in history, and the island desperately need us. Hurricane Maria left devastating damage leaving thousands of people affected. For this reason, I decided to create this page to collect funds to provide the basic needs and rebuild all that was lost. My donation of $100,000 is already in, and I know I can count on your support. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your invaluable and much needed contribution. Peace, Ricky Martin”

Pirate Surf Club Hurricane Relief Inc. 

Similar to Jason Maddy’s group (above), the Pirate Surf Club Hurricane Relief group of volunteers have been working in Puerto Rico’s remote regions assisting those hardest hit by hurricane Maria. They are a non-profit corporation organized in Florida. They have been providing water, water filtration systems, food, and have been clearing areas from debris, transporting the sick to the mainland, and rescuing animals and beloved pets, among other efforts. To support this group, click here. To follow the group on Facebook click here. They also have a 24-hr Toll Free Hotline: 1-888-542-3310, and they can also be contacted through e-mail: piratessurfclub@gmail.com

Veteran Disaster Relief, Inc. (Jason Maddy)

This is U.S. veteran Jason’s Maddy’s group of volunteer veterans, which has been working non-stop in the Western part of PR (Añasco, Utuado, Corozal, and other towns), particularly in the hard-to-reach mountain areas, where no government or other help has been. The boots-on-the-ground team of volunteers led by Maddy is supported by a team of five volunteers focused on logistics and other areas, working from stateside US. To support this group, click here.  You can also follow the group on Facebook: Jason Maddy’s Page and Veteran Disaster Relief.

Mano a Mano (“Hand to Hand”)

“In the aftermath of Maria’s devastation, “Mano a Mano Helping Puerto Rico” is helping to rebuild Puerto Rico quickly and efficiently. The organization is committed to serve the people suffering from lack of access to basic needs: food and water, “hand to hand” while providing a sense of hope and dignity in the process.”  The organization is also focusing on medical needs and is supportive of other nonprofit organizations.  Click here for their Facebook Page. Click here to donate. Contact via phone at 787-307-9888 or e-mail at: info@manoamanopuertorico.com.

Power for Puerto Rico – Generators Fund

The Power for Puerto Rico YouCaring fundraiser aims to provide generators to local people in need. The fund is organized by entrepreneur Chris Friedland and his wife Melissa. Funds go to a 501(c)(3) organization founded by them and they work through local Puerto Ricans to distribute the generators in the island to those in need. They have donated $100K of their own money and the fund has raised over $90K to date.  Click here for more information and to donate.

  • If you or someone you know needs a generator, please click here and fill out the request form.  UPDATE 10/24/2017:  The request form was deactivated temporarily because they received 2000 requests and have 220 generators. They will reactivate as funding continues to arrive.

GoFundMe Hub

GoFundMe has created a hub for Hurricane Maria donations. Click here for more information.

Bravo Family Foundation

The Bravo Family Foundation’s Podemos Puerto Rico campaign has committed $10M and is accepting additional funds. The foundation is committed to humanitarian, health care and education causes for talent

Central Florida Foundation -“Together for Puerto Rico: A Hurricane Recovery Fund”

With Orlando being the number one in-migration point for people from Puerto Rico, Central Florida Foundation realizes the effects of the storm and damages to infrastructure on our local community. The purpose of the “Together for Puerto Rico: A Hurricane Recovery Fund” is to provide a way for our community to respond now to support the medium to long term recovery and rebuilding efforts that face the government and nonprofits in Puerto Rico.

The fund will support these key areas:

1. Nonprofits and public-sector entities committed to restoring the island and supporting its citizens for the long haul
2. Vulnerable populations impacted by the storms
3. Gaps where public resources are unavailable
4. Promote leverage and cross-sector collaboration with government, donors, and public/private humanitarian partnerships

You can donate by clicking here.

Click here for more information on Central Florida Foundation.

Hunger Fight – Hurricane Relief Online Donations

Hunger Fight created campaigns for everyone to contribute at various impact levels. Click here to contribute online in one or more ways to feed those impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Scroll ahead to “North Florida” header for information about upcoming volunteer activities in Jacksonville.

Somos Una Voz – Concert

This concert for the benefit of disaster relief for recent natural disasters, including Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Mexico, California and the South of the United States took place on 10/14/17 and was transmitted via MTV, Univision, Telemundo, NBC and other US TV channels.  The links below are still active for donations The event raised over $30M.

To donate:

Donate online at SomosUnaVoz.com or call 1-800-833-2600 (in Spanish) and 1-800-593-9700 (in English).

One America Appeal

One America Appeal is a joint fundraising effort by former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The campaign, first established to assist victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, has now added Hurricane Maria to its appeal for recovery relief.

The campaign will allow donors to contribute funds to United for Puerto Rico and The Fund for the Virgin Islands. Both are 501(c)(3) organizations. Donors can use the drop-down menu in the website’s donation section to direct their contribution.

 

Other organizations accepting cash donations:

Charity Navigator offers a summary and rates some of the charities that are participating in Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief.

PR Recovery Index offers a list of many fundraisers, including organizations, groups and individuals, requesting donations and support for a great variety of disaster relief initiatives.

Government Relief Funds

United for Puerto Rico: Together Changing Paths

United for Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María. They have at least 17 corporate sponsors and have raised over $12M.

Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA)

PRFAA has established a call center to receive help for the island. They also help pay for shipping costs to the island. Contact: (202) 800-3133 and (202) 800-3134 or maria2@prfaa.pr.gov for general information and assistance. This contact is also a resource for locating family in the island. Click here for relief effort information.

In addition, PRFAA has formed regional groups to manage assistance from Puerto Ricans interested in contributing to the hurricane relief. These groups can be contacted via Facebook under “Puerto Rico Rises” and are organized by  city name (e.g., Puerto Rico Rises Miami).

 

VIEQUES FUND

Vieques Love

Vieques Love is a fundraiser GoFundMe campaign created by Kelly Thompson, editor and publisher of Vieques Insider Magazine, Szaritza Yamira, Disaster Relief Specialist and Long Term Recovery Project Manager (20 years with FEMA AND HUD), and Sharon Pepin, grant writer and administrator

The fund is being maintained by Kelly Thompson, editor and publisher of Vieques Insider Magazine, and Brittany Roush, Litigation Consultant and disaster relief coordinator for Vieques.

Click here to donate. They have raised over $950K to date.

CULEBRA FUND

The beautiful island of Culebra also has a fundraiser GoFundMe campaign created by local resident Laurie Knowlton. The campaign funds will be applied to rebuilding the infrastructure – for example, providing generators, solar power and accessories like lights and fans, small desalination kits for water, seedlings to restart farms for providing food, satellite phones, inverters and more.

Click here to donate. This fund has a goal of $25K of which $18K has been raised, so far.

CENTRAL FLORIDA

Orlando

Christmas Benefit Concert “Unsung Noel”

This upcoming benefit Christmas concert will feature Jonathan Cain of Journey. The event is designed to bless those present and to raise funds to give joy to children in the Central Florida area and to help families hurting in Puerto Rico.

  • When: December 8, 2017 at 7:30 pm
  • Where: New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, FL (505 Mc Cormick Rd, Apopka, FL 32703)
  • Contact: Pastor Todd Lamphere at tlamphere@ndcc.tv

 

City of Orlando, Career Source and other Sponsors

City of Orlando, Career Source and other Sponsors are holding a career expo for victims of Hurricane Maria on November 16, 2017 from 1-5pm at the Osceola County Career Services Center, 1392 E. Vine St., Kissimmee, FL. For more information click here.

A group of organizations including CASA, the Hispanic Federation, the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, Acacia Network of Florida, the Puerto Rico Bar Association of Florida, I-4 for Puerto Rico group and the First Baptist Church of Orlando are collecting donations every day at the following locations: Acacia in Orlando, FL – 1865 N. Econlockhatchee Trail (from 10 am to 7 pm), and the Puerto Rico federal office, 15 S. Orlando Ave., Kissimmee (8 am to 4:30 pm). For more information contact (321) 287-9109.

Medical Clinic Drive for Puerto Rico (Orlando)

Dr. Vargas Vidot (also a Senator in PR) is leading a free medical clinic effort in Toa Baja, PR, providing free medical consultations, medicines, and food. Donations are being supplied from the Puerto Rican diaspora.

Dr. Wilberto Rodríguez and Orlando Family Physicians, are conducting a drive in support of Dr. Vargas Vidot’s efforts in the island, for which they need volunteers. Contact: 787-376-4168 and 407-708-3558. Their warehouse is located at 1586 N Golden Rd., Orlando, FL. Hours: 8:00 AM till 7:00PM (while the sun is still up). Please contact them before driving to the warehouse, in case hours have changed.

Please note: The volunteers will unload, redistribute the donations, repack and reload trailers to be sent to Puerto Rico. This is an intense labor of love and will take several weeks to accomplish.

Students may complete their community service hours by previous coordination with school principals and coordinating staff.

Among the items they need:

  1. Cash donations
  2. Batteries (all kinds)
  3. Medicines (e.g., OTC, insulin, others)
  4. Medical equiment
  5. Other (contact them for more information (no clothes please)

Address to mail supplies:

c/o Senador Vargas Vidot 2, 15 Berwind Beach Resort, Apt. 169 Río Grande, PR 00745

Large equipment (like generators) and medicines:

c/o Dr. Sultan Hasim, 282 Ave. Jesus T. Piñero, Suite 202 San Juan, PR. 00927

Calvary Orlando Drive (Please contact them for updated information).

The Calvary Orlando collection drive occurred on October 8, 2017. Please click here to contact them for additional/upcoming collection drives or call 407-644-1199. Get the full list of needed supplies by clicking here.

I-4 for Puerto Rico – Central Florida Veterans – Operation Rescue Puerto Rico 
These efforts are led by local military veterans and volunteers. Donations of emergency goods – including hurricane recovery construction supplies – can be taken to 4045 Forrestal Avenue, Bay #7, Orlando, FL 32806 (currently working on locations in Seminole and Lake County). I-4 Organization’s Contacts: Randy Ross (407) 401-4409 and Cheryl Hall (321) 438-0091 Contact for Dropoff: Kevin Canning (407) 953-8965. Collection between 8am-5pm. Suggested items:

  • Toiletries
  • Toilet Paper
  • Dog/Cat Food
  • Bottled Water
  • Rakes/Shovels
  • Gatorade
  • Baby Formula
  • Diapers (including adult diapers)
  • Trash Bags
  • Canned Goods (non-perishable)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Ensure
  • Cleaning Supplies

Feed the Children “Orlando Cares – Hope for Puerto Rico” – This group packed 4.4 million meals for PR relief. They are coordinating shipping to FEMA for distribution in PR. This will be a continued effort. This event has ended.

SOUTH FLORIDA

Miami

Puerto Rican Leadership Council of South Florida

The PRLC is gathering donations and plans to send water, nonperishable food, diapers, clothes and medical supplies to Puerto Rico.

Contact: Hector Diaz, Pres. Address: 3550 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 304 Miami, Florida 33132 Telephone: 305-576-0010

** Also contact Luis de Rosa at ldr@puertoricanchamber.com

 

NORTH FLORIDA

Hunger Fight Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief – Jacksonville, FL

Caribbean Shipping and Aviles-Robbins Truck Leasing hosted a Hunger Fight packing event on 10/7/2017 and may be in need of volunteers for other events. Contact: deanp@hungerfight.org  or call Dean at 904-923-3243 or Margie at 904-891-7729

NY, PA, VA, DC, MD

NY Government – National Guard – Javits Center – JetBlue Alliance

NY.Gov/PuertoRico

There is an ongoing state-wide collection and financial contribution effort put in place, managed through the website NY.Gov/PuertoRico. The site has information on donation locations — managed by the National Guard — and has a list items that the island needs.

The National Guard will bring initial donation collections to the Javits Center and then transport the goods to the island with the help of JetBlue, which has donated $1 million of its services for the relief flights.

Medical Clinic Drive for Puerto Rico (NY)

Dr. Vargas Vidot (also a Senator in PR) is leading a free medical clinic effort in Toa Baja, PR, providing free medical consultations, medicines, and food. Donations are being supplied from the Puerto Rican diaspora.

A collection site is located at “Centro de Alabanza Oasis” in Long Island, NY. For more information, contact: Dolly Cepeda 631-324-2670 and Nydia Tapia 631-650-7238

Among the items they need:

  1. Cash donations
  2. Batteries (all kinds)
  3. Medicines (e.g., OTC, insulin, others)
  4. Medical equiment
  5. Other (contact them for more information (no clothes please)

Address to mail supplies:

c/o Senador Vargas Vidot 2, 15 Berwind Beach Resort, Apt. 169 Río Grande, PR 00745

Large equipment (like generators) and medicines:

c/o Dr. Sultan Hasim, 282 Ave. Jesus T. Piñero, Suite 202 San Juan, PR. 00927

Center for Puerto Rican Studies – Donations page

Click here to learn about donation and contributions efforts listed by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

MD, DC, VA Area Fundraising/Collection Efforts Facebook Page

Click here for relief efforts in MD, DC in VA area.

New York Dropoff Information

Click here for information about donation drop off sites for New York.

Philadelphia, PA

#Todossomospuertorico collection site at Import DPS,  2951 North Marshall Street. Philadelpia, PA 19133. Contact: 215.227.6000 and 267.312.3614.

 

OTHER ONGOING EFFORTS

A List of Trusted Organizations Offering Help via “Los Ambulantes”

The Los Ambulantes page provides a comprehensive list of organizations. They are also keeping track of resources and status of the island recovery efforts.

  • Update on Puerto Rico
  • Find Your Family
  • List of Organizations – Fundraising
  • Animals are Important Too!
  • Volunteering Opportunities
  • Donations Events by City
  • Fundraising Events by City

Running list in Google Docs for Dropoff Locations throughout the United States (Updated regularly)

For a running list in Google Docs of opportunities nation-wide, click here.

Unidos por los Nuestros (United for Each Other) 

A telethon took place on 9/23 in the facilities of Univision in Miami to support the devastation of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the earthquake in Mexico, as well as the Harvey hurricane victims. Donations can still be collected for individual causes at: http://www.univision.com/unidos or by calling  1-800-842-2200.

Details: Broadcasted on Saturday, 9/23 via the Univision Network, on Univision Deportes Network (UDN) and the Univision NOW app on 9/23 at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT from multiple locations, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Puerto Rico and Mexico City. JLo, Marc Anthony, Nicky Jam, Gloria Estefan, Tommy Torres, Alejandro Sanz, among others to participate.

Help the Mapping Project

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is recruiting volunteers to map Puerto Rico and help the relief effort. They are also accepting donations and hiring. Click here for general information on how to contribute to the organization’s efforts. Click here for direct information about the Puerto Rico project.

“So far, 2,800 mappers have added over half a million buildings to the map in support of relief efforts led by organisations including International Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation, Netherlands Red Cross and MapAction. The maps are being used for rapid damage assessments to understand what level of aid needs to be sent to different locations, and how long the aid might be needed, for example temporary or more permanent shelter.”

“More than 1,500 roads and bridges were damaged after the hurricane, and Puerto Rico’s transportation chief noted than rebuilding them could cost $240 million. And while some supplies have arrived at the port in San Juan, there are conflicting reports about how much aid is reaching Puerto Rico’s more-isolated communities, where mapping data can be the most helpful.

The scale of the need is “sort of unprecedented,” said Dale Kunce, who is in Puerto Rico, leading the international information and communication technology and analytics teams at the Red Cross. “We normally don’t have the mappers engaged in this way in the United States.”

Thousands of people are trying to help, while sitting at their computers hundreds of miles away, logging a clear digital path for aid.”

A recent “Mapathon” took place on Oct 4, 2017 at University of Omaha. Other universities and groups across the nation are actively participating. Click here for a reference article describing the project. 

 

LOGISTICS AND VOLUNTEERING IN PUERTO RICO

Logistics for Supplies

The government of Puerto Rico has also launched a guide for emergency and construction supplies donations. The Puerto Rico National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is coordinating many of the donations here and the corporate giving here.

Volunteering in Puerto Rico

When the island is ready to receive volunteers, opportunities to volunteer will be available through VOAD, where you can register to volunteer in support of hurricane relief in a diversity of locations. All VOAD organizations are vetted.

 

FINDING FAMILY MEMBERS – REPORTING EMERGENCIES

The following sites can assist in finding family members:

FEMA Zone Contact Map – provides contact names and numbers for FEMA regional offices in Puerto Rico

Facebook’s Safety Check Page

Google Docs’ Person Finder

American Red Cross Emergency! App

Sano y Salvo (Herramienta de la Cruz Roja Americana en Español)

AT&T

AT&T is helping link families and friends with loved ones in Puerto Rico. The company has set up a temporary website at ATT.com/mariaupdate/#/  in English and Spanish that allows you to register the AT&T cellphone number of loved ones in Puerto Rico to locate them. You can register regardless of carrier. 

When AT&T’s network in Puerto Rico connects, the registered person will receive a message that someone in the mainland U.S. has been trying to contact them. It will also email you when the service is restored, so you can try to reach them again.

Facebook Groups

Also, there are various Facebook groups that have been created for Hurricane Maria news. Just type “Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico” on the search field, and they will come up. Among them:

There are also town-specific Facebook groups within the above groups.

*** Please be aware that – unfortunately – Facebook is often infiltrated by trolls, so be careful to not fall prey to fake and politicized news or FB pages of fake people trying to troll and/or take advantage of the disaster for their own agenda/personal or political profit. If something sounds weird or fake, it is probably fake. ***

Buscador de Puerto Rico

  • This tool offers a breakdown by town. It is updated regularly.

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Resource Employment Solutions has joined forces with the National Puerto Rican Leadership Council Education Fund to offer employment opportunities to victims of Harvey/Irma/María workers. RES and NPRLCEF are working 24/7 to provide well paid temporarily and permanent jobs for them. For now, we have hundreds of open positions in Charlotte, Cincinnati and Chicago. In some cases we’ll help with transportation, lodging and other relocation expenses. The opportunities are not available in Florida yet. For more information please contact: info@nprlcef.org

Also visit USAJOBS.gov as there are openings government-wide. Particularly, the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) are hiring for open positions in hurricane relief areas.

 

REPORTING EMERGENCIES

Report U.S. citizens who need emergency assistance to the State Department through its Task Force Alert program. Go to http://tfa.state.gov and select “2017 Storm Maria.”

Standard emergency lines in Puerto Rico (some may not work)

TRAVEL/AIRLINE RELIEF

JetBlue

JetBlue has launched 100x35JetBlue, an Immediate and Long-Term Commitment to Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief. The program outlines 100 Days and 35 Ways of caring for Puerto Rico. Immediate steps include daily relief flights, capped $135 fares, no bag & Pet fees, delivery of essential supplies. In addition, JetBlue will invite customers on every flight to donate to support hurricane-impacted areas. The fundraising goal is $1M.

 

PET RELIEF

Guardians of Rescue

Guardians of Rescue is a New York-based organization that has helped animals affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now Maria. The rescue group is flying to Puerto Rico on Monday, October 2, and plans to spend weeks in Puerto Rico conducting animal rescues.

You can donate to this group here.

The Sato Project

The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abandoned and abused dogs from Puerto Rico. Our Founder has been working to make change on Dead Dog Beach for the past 8 years.  Incorporated and an official 501(c)3 since 2011, we have rescued over 1,600 dogs, rehabilitated them to the highest veterinary standard possible, and found them loving homes.  In 2016 we launched an ambitious Spay, Neuter, Vaccine, and Microchip program and are working to bring systemic change to Puerto Rico through education and partnerships on the Island.

You can donate to the organization here and to its hurricane relief fund here.

Greater Good

GreaterGood.org is coordinating and facilitating the delivery of critical supplies and providing cash for animals and shelters affected by the storm in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. We are also working to fly in planes full of humanitarian supplies that will then transport abandoned pets to safety in the US to be adopted.

By donating to the efforts of GreaterGood.org, you are providing safe transport, supplies, shelter, food, and other services to pets in need.

An anonymous donor is currently matching donations dollar for dollar to $20,000 for animal relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Click here to donate.

Other Puerto Rico-based Animal Welfare Organizations – Fundraising Efforts

Also, check with your local humane societies and animal rescue organizations, as numerous dogs and cats have been arriving to shelters across the United States from Puerto Rico.

STATUS OF INFRASTRUCTURE RECOVERY

The Puerto Rico government is using the status.pr webpage to communicate information on the status of infrastructure and relief efforts.

 

DISASTER ASSISTANCE VIA FEMA

Click here to apply for disaster assistance from FEMA for those affected by hurricane Maria.

 

ASSISTANCE FOR PUERTO RICAN FAMILIES MOVING TO FLORIDA

Disaster Relief Centers at Florida Airports

The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has requested that disaster relief centers be established in Florida airports to offer help to incoming Puerto Ricans displaced by hurricane Maria. These centers will be attended with representatives of a variety of relief organizations, such as the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families, along with charities such as the American Red Cross and United Way, among others. The goal is to match the needs of the displaced individuals and families with all the available state resources they may need, and that they are given the tools they need to find work, and/or education opportunities.

City of Orlando – Resource Page for Families Transitioning to Central Florida from Puerto Rico

The City of Orlando developed a web page listing a wide variety of resources to families transitioning to Central Florida from Puerto Rico. It contains a number of organizations that can directly assist newcomers, along with contact information. It is available in Spanish and in English.

The Puerto Rico Family Response Center (Centro de Ayuda) will establish an initial location at Latino Leadership’s headquarters in Central Florida. The office address is 8617 E. Colonial Drive, Suite 1200, Orlando, FL 32817. Current organizational offering at Latino Leadership include housing counseling, a 10-person computer lab, and special needs services, in addition to a robust referral services network. This Response Center will amplify the organization’s current commitment to enrichment services.

A team of qualified individuals will serve as the liaison between displaced families and community resources. FSHCC’s network of business members will serve as a vital resource for connecting evacuees with employment opportunities throughout the State. As US citizens, Puerto Ricans will be able to join Florida’s workforce upon arrival.

For volunteer and assistance information you can call 407-895-0801 or click here.

 

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISPLACED STUDENTS

High-School Students

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) will accept 20,000 Puerto Rican students who were impacted by Hurricane Maria to ensure they are able to continue their education. Whether students are still in Puerto Rico or in Florida, they can take advantage of this program. Displaced Puerto Rican families who are interested in signing up for Florida Virtual School should contact Liz Chico at (863) 606-8033.

College Students

State universities and colleges across Florida are now offering in-state tuition to Puerto Rican college students displaced by Hurricane Maria. These include, but are not limited to University of Central Florida, Seminole State College, Valencia College, Florida International University, Broward College, Miami-Dade College, St. Petersburg College, and Hillsborough Community College, among many others. Contact admissions in the state university of interest for more information.

Other universities throughout the US are offering similar programs for students displaced due to Hurricane Maria.

APPEAL TO CONGRESS FOR ASSISTANCE

Assistance has been deployed, but it is not enough. To avert a humanitarian disaster on the island, more attention from Congress is critical. Please call Congress and/or write to your representative and demand attention to the need for increased Puerto Rico relief.  Below is a generic statement you can use for this purpose. Act now!

“Dear [Congressman/Senator’s Name]:
Congress needs to include emergency supplemental appropriations funding for Puerto Rico now. Anything less would be irresponsible and immoral.
At a minimum, any legislation to assist Puerto Rico during this critical time, should include: a) immediate emergency disaster relief funding, b) critical infrastructure, housing and energy investments, c) federal health care funding parity, and d) economic tools to expedite the recovery and make Puerto Rico self-reliant over time.
The 3.4 million US Citizens of Puerto Rico are suffering a disaster never before seen in modern history in the island. Will you publicly commit to supporting immediate emergency supplemental funding for disaster relief and recovery in Puerto Rico? As your constituents, we are counting on your support.
Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.
Sincrerely,
[Your name]”

 

NOTE: The above information is provided for your reference only on a best-efforts basis. The organizations’ inclusion on this page does not constitute an endorsement by the author. Always conduct your own due-diligence before donating/contributing to any organization.

This content is provided under a Creative Commons License

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About tiradochiodini

I am a attorney, entrepreneur and author blogging about business, law, entrepreneurship, writing, books and other subjects.
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