In September, a devastating hurricane hit the United States territory of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands. A week later, ThatHelps shared three easy ways to help the 3.4 million people of Puerto Rico recover.
Three months later, the island is still struggling to recover from the largest blackout in American history. Some reports estimate that only 55% to 65% of Puerto Rico has power. The territory’s economy is upended because its production of medical supplies has come to a virtual halt. According to this New York Times account, residents in the remote town of Vieques are still struggling to get food and water.
Check out ways to help Puerto Rico continue to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
1. Find local groups in the states with ties to Puerto Rico. Communities with roots on the island are organizing regularly all over the States to deliver aid and supplies to the region. Examples include El Grito de Sunset Park in New York City and Grace in Action in Detroit. Search your area online or simply ask around to find groups close in your area.
2. Donate to locals. Search GoFundMe and YouCaring sites for fundraisers created and managed by locals. This takes a bit of time and research, but see one example of a former Puerto Rican resident who’s launched a fund to benefit AmeriCares.
3. This year, create a birthday fundraiser on Facebook. Use the social media platform’s simple tool on your birthday to benefit vetted organizations like Save the Children or Mercy Corps who work on the front lines of Puerto Rico relief.
4. Keep their stories alive. Share articles like the New York Times piece on Vieques about the continued struggles on social media and talk about the slower-than-usual recovery efforts in your community. Organizations like Mercy Corps’ Twitter regularly share updates on the recovery efforts.
5. Download ThatHelps’ free app to discover easy ways to help other vetted organizations, businesses, and individuals help Puerto Rico. Once you download it, don’t forget to use the Thanks button to show gratitude. Thanking creates a ripple effect of altruism and kindness!