Tangible Ways We Can Help Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is part of the United States of America and our citizens are in danger. 

It’s been almost a month since the catastrophic Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, devastating the infrastructure the island. As of October 14, at least 48 people were killed, about 85 percent of the island is left without power, and 35 percent don’t have access to clean drinking water, according to ABC News

The government response to Puerto Rico is lacking compassion and urgency, with President Trump comparing Hurricane Maria to a “true catastrophe like Katrina.” He’s also been tweeting about Puerto Rico’s pre-Hurricane debt when it seems that preventing more fatalities should be the President’s goal. Talking about removing FEMA and other aid isn’t helping Puerto Rico get safe drinking water or access to medical supplies. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough and since Puerto Rico can’t look to its government for help, here’s what you can do to send aid.

Watch, Stream, or Buy “Almost Like Praying

Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Almost Like Praying” features a large variety of Latin artists* and samples “Maria” from West Side Story. The song mentions all 78 towns in Puerto Rico and features many unique sounds of the island. Miranda has called it his “love song to Puerto Rico.” Proceeds from streaming and buying the song go to the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund. It’s an amazing song with an inspiring message and it’s only $1.29. Share it on social media for an extra boost and it’s a tangible way to send your thoughts and prayers.

“Almost Like Praying” features Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Camila Cabello, Pedro Capo, Dessa, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra, Alex Lacamoire, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Moreno, Ednita Nazario, Joell Ortiz, Anthony Ramos, Gina Rodriguez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, PJ Sin Suela, Tommy Torres and Ana Villafañe.

Donate Money to The Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund

The Unidos Disaster Relief Fund was established after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. The money raised goes to providing emergency supplies and relief aid flights and establishing communication and routes to hard-hit areas. Why donate to the Hispanic Federation? Their mission is to “empower and advance the Hispanic community.” Not only are they providing aid and supplies, they’re donating to grassroots nonprofits in Puerto Rico to support and strengthen the organizations. I love that the Hispanic Federation is not just providing supplies but also giving local nonprofits the tools to continue improving the social services available to the families and communities of Puerto Rico. 

Donate Supplies to The Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund

From the Hispanic Federation

If you’re in New York City, 17 Firehouses and EMS stations are collecting diapers, feminine hygiene products, batteries, first aid supplies, and baby food, which are desperately needed. Make sure the products are non-perishable and unopened.

If you live in New York State there are several drop-off locations. The state specifically asks for “batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, diapers, baby wipes, cases of water and feminine hygiene products. All items must be unopened and in their original packaging.”

See Also

Please don’t veer off the list because donating too many unrequested items can cause a crisis of its own.

Fundraise for Puerto Rico

Find a way to involve your community in raising money for Puerto Rico: hold an open mic night or an auction. If you’re crafty or like baking, have a sale of some kind. If you have children or work with children, help them brainstorm ways to get involved. Teach empathy and compassion. If you’re looking for inspiration take a peek at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Twitter page, which is full of stories of children breaking open piggy banks and hosting bake sales for our fellow countrymen in Puerto Rico.

What ways are you helping Puerto Rico? Share it in the comments below or tweet us @litdarling!

Featured Image by Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Lauren Gustafson
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