Ten Things You Can Do To Help Those Devastated In Puerto Rico By Hurricane Maria

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Hurricane Maria, the fifth-strongest storm to ever hit the United States, roared through Puerto Rico last week, flattening the island. Unfortunately, the devastation caused by Maria is taking a backseat to distracted Americans more worried about what NFL players do during the national anthem. But there are ways you can help.

The 3.4 million Americans citizens who live in Puerto Rico suffered major losses. They had homes destroyed, streets flooded, power grids decimated, widespread internet outages, and dams teetering on the brink of collapse, leaving Puerto Rico in shambles. The bulk of the island still doesn’t have water to drink and can’t even call for help because only 25% of cellphone towers survived the storm.

“There’s a humanitarian emergency here in Puerto Rico,” Governor Ricardo Rosselló told the Associated Press. “This is an event without precedent.” The current U.S. president, Donald Trump finally took a break from bashing the NFL to tweet about the island’s plight, and did order federal assistance to the island, but has been slow to send a financial plan to Congress. In fact, the White House isn’t expected send Congress a plan for a week or two. But there is a lot more work that can be done to help without the help of those distracted by how others choose to express themselves during a song.

Here is a list of ten charities put together by Fast Company that could use some resources to help those in Puerto Rico. But they also suggest using Charity Navigator. It is a good resource for picking the right charity.

Here’s how you can help right now:

1)In Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico’s first lady Beatriz Roselló set up Unidos por Puerto Rico to connect the private sector to those in need. Donations can be sent in a variety of ways, including PayPal.

2) Another option in Puerto Rico is ConPRmetidos, which shifted its focus from innovation to helping victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. They are accepting donations here.

3) In the New York area: The Hispanic Federation teamed up with New York politicians including the mayor and members of Congress to launch “Unidos”: A Hurricane Relief Fund for Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico, which will give 100% of its proceeds to hurricane relief and recovery efforts. Per the website, to donate via text, text to number 41444. Type UNIDOS (space) YOUR AMOUNT (space) and YOUR NAME. (For example: Unidos 100 John Doe) Then press “send” and click on the link to complete your donation. Or just donate here.

4) In the Miami area: The Puerto Rican Leadership Council is accepting donations of nonperishable food, water, and clothing at several locations. The Miami Herald has the details on donating.

5) In the Philadelphia area: Nonprofit group El Concilio has launched Unidos PA Puerto Rico to raise money for hurricane relief.

6) Around the country: the Salvation Army is accepting hurricane relief donations.

7) GoFundMe created a central page for Hurricane Maria relief campaigns, check it out here.

8) Volunteer disaster relief organization All Hands needs help rebuilding in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

9) Hurricane Irma and Maria Response group AmeriCares said they are working with officials in Puerto Rico to stock emergency shelters with medical supplies. This is in addition to their airlift of $1.8 million worth of medicine and supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

10) Crowdfunding site GlobalGiving, which connects donors to nonprofits and companies around the world, will focus on immediate needs of victims and on longer-term recovery efforts “run by local, vetted organizations,” per the website.

If you didn’t find a charity you liked, check out the Charity Navigator. While some Americans have the luxury of complaining about the NFL and burning clothing to make a statement, others are going without basic essentials and just might like to have that jersey that was set on fire. Please consider donating unwanted NFL jerseys to those in need.

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  • YeahRightOkay

    I am here in Houston, TX and ask…Why should we do anything? My sympathy are with my fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, but where is the money going to?

    There is starting to be a loud cry asking where all the donations are since it is obvious it is not going to our fellow Texans in need. The red cross is denying folks who lost everything any type of assistance. fema is ignoring those that lost everything since they can’t see any address on a destroyed house. They say there is no such address or home.

    Then to add more injury to those who lost everything here in Houston, the damn mayor and city counsel wants to raise property taxes to recoup their losses — the hell with everyone else.

    Tens of millions of dollars have poured in here but everyone is questioning where is it and where is it going. Though I bet if you ask Bill and Hitlery Clinton they would know since hundreds of millions of dollars came in to their ‘foundation’ for the earthquake in Haiti and those folks are still asking where is the money…

    • grammyprepper

      I am sorry about this. It is sad. The every day folks are those that do the most good. Churches are the best places to look for help. Salvation Army vs. Red Cross, as they spend more money on relief efforts vs salaries. Prayers to you and yours.

  • Razedbywolvs

    We donated 5.4 billion dollars to help Haiti and none of the money
    got there. They died of dysentery wile the Red Cross ate stake.

    Catrina happened and no one helped. The government decided to use
    the opportunity to steel peoples guns and leave them to die at the hands of looters.

    In TX people helped each other (including the illegals) and the
    government actively tried to prevent that.

    The only why you can help the 3.4 million Americans citizens who
    live in Puerto Rico is to shoot a politician.

  • grammyprepper

    I cannot comment on any of the charities mentioned in this article but the Salvation Army. They are one of the highest rated charities, they do not pay high salaries to their staff, the bulk of your donation goes to their efforts. I personally support them above the Red Cross. Help how you can, volunteer if you are able. Please do not just send your ‘junk’…as was seen with Katrina and Sandy, much of what was ‘donated’ ended up being thrown out because it wasn’t useable…take your ‘junk’ to the local thrift store and support in that manner…The victims of the hurricanes need everything, they have lost everything…gently used is one thing…but most of all right now they need food, water, clothing (underwear and socks especially) toiletries. If your local church or whomever is putting together a collection, focus on those things. You can go to the local dollar store and spend a few bucks to add to the collection.

  • Jeff Smith

    Why does anyone live in the path of a hurricane in the first place? Why build in an area that is likely to be hit? I feel for those affected but find it hard to help with money being stolen or misused and this is not the first time this has happened. Why does Texas not set up centers for this. Why does any state in hurricane zones not have a good backup plan? Why are the people in these areas not prepared?