This post has little to do with Jack Sparrow. Sorry for the false advertising but I figured since most folks follow for the art…a painting might draw you in, right? This quick watercolor in my sketchbook was done for Talk Like a Pirate Day last week. But now…bear with me for some serious news. I don’t usually do news posts but….the deeper I dig, the sadder my heart is.
Puerto Rico is in big trouble after Hurricane Maria. They have not received the attention nor assistance needed; the governor said yesterday they have not received the search and rescue and humanitarian aid requested from DC. And the Guajataca Dam is staring menacingly at those living below it, ready to break. PR is in for a long haul of problems in cleaning up and rebuilding. Power won’t be restored for 4-6 months – not weeks like it’s been for mainland disasters. Think about that. 6 months….waiting until Valentines Day for basic electricity! And these are fellow Americans.
A little data I didn’t know til this week: Puerto Rico has surpassed the need already reported from the Virgin Islands — by leaps and bounds. USVI has been seeing some aid, and clearly they do need it, don’t get me wrong – but by comparison, two quick stats might put things in perspective:
- Puerto Rico is 7 times the land mass of USVI
- Puerto Rico’s population is 3.6 million, USVI 106,000
- More US citizens live in Puerto Rico than live in the Dakotas, Vermont, Wyoming, and Alaska combined
Hopefully some of that will encourage some giving…they are us. It’s not some foreign country. Below are some ideas where you might like to give…..I’ve been researching local organizations, and this post includes ones I chose to give to. But for those who need a big name to feel comfortable…let’s start out with the big names with excellent ratings who look to actually be helping in PR right now:
Local(ish) orgs helping Puerto Rico
- The Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund. 100 percent of all money raised to be used for immediate relief, recovery and rebuilding. They work with the Center for Popular Democracy and are run by a mix of grassroots organizations.
- Maria: Puerto Rico Real-Time Recovery Fund by ConPRmetidos, a millennial-led org building public/private partnerships for PR economic development. They are raising $150,000 for food, shelter and water, with remaining funds to be applied to long-term recovery efforts.
- Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico – has been working since 1985 in education, housing and economic development.
- Wings of Rescue flies in after hurricanes, sending supplies for both people and pets and starts flying dogs and cats out.
- Unidos Set up by New Yorkers incl Mayor DiBlasio and 2 Representatives, 100% of money goes to PR
Organizations Focused on The U.S. Virgin Islands
- Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands – since 1990. Normally a community-building org, now an official hurricane relief charity, donating 100 percent of each gift to assist residents impacted by the storm.
- Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency a regional, inter-governmental agency for the Virgin Islands, Barbuda and Dominica.
- 21 U.S. Virgin Island Relief Fund headed up by former San Antonio Spurs basketball star Tim Duncan, who grew up on St. Croix. Fundraising goal increased to $5 million after Maria. Duncan matched the first $1 million in donations.
Organizations Benefitting Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands
- Islamic Relief USA Established in 1993, California-based. They were on the ground in Texas and Florida for the hurricanes.
- Black America Web Relief Fund Created by radio host Tom Joyner after Katrina in 2005 focuses on individuals and families who need assistance as a result of publicly declared disasters. Donations can be made here—and those who are displaced or who are hosting people because of the storm can request financial assistance.