In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis as the 3.5 million people who live on the island deal with widespread power outages, a lack of phone or Internet service, damaged buildings, and flooding that is hampering recovery efforts.
As Gov. Ricardo Rosselló urges Congress to approve a commensurate aid package, others including all five living former U.S. presidents, celebrities like singer Jennifer Lopez and comic book publisher Stan Lee, and local and national charities are pledging their support to help Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.
Here are a few ways to help Puerto Rico:
United For Puerto Rico, an organization created by the governor’s wife Beatriz Rosselló in collaboration with the private sector, is providing a way for anyone to help victims in Puerto Rico. On Tuesday, Rosselló retweeted an endorsement of United for Puerto Rico,. The initiative aims to provide aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the impact of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María.
The organization also has a list of needed construction materials and other supplies for those who would rather donate goods instead of money. Some of the pressing supply needs in Puerto Rico include bottled water, baby wipes, diapers, baby formula, pain relief medication for adults and children, canned milk, mosquito repellant, stomach relief and diarrhea medication, first-aid kits, blankets, and pillows.
Construction supplies needed include extension cords, pop-up canopies, wood panels, crowbars, hammers, work gloves, electric generators, tarps, ropes, and chainsaws.
People can also donate through “One America Appeal,” a fundraising campaign originally launched by all five living former U.S. Presidents to encourage citizens to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey, which caused widespread flooding in Texas. The presidents have now added areas most affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria, to the appeal.
The campaign lets donors contribute funds to Unidos Por Puerto Rico (United For Puerto Rico) and the Fund for the Virgin Islands, a non-profit organization that was established 25 years ago by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands for relief efforts.
Here’s an updated list of charities and organizations that are helping support relief efforts in Puerto Rico:
- All Hands Volunteers
- Catholic Relief Services,
- Direct Relief
- Go Fund Me: has created a centralized landing page to host all campaigns created for those affected by Hurricane Maria. This hub includes relief efforts for the victims and is being updated in real-time.
- International Medical Corps
- Mercy Corps: the organization has deployed an emergency response team to Puerto Rico. The Mercy Corps team plans to help other local organizations since it does not operations in Puerto Rico.