Despite the brawny bounty of American leadership, Puerto Rico is still in need of significant assistance. With an estimated 58,300 residents of Puerto Rican descent here in Hudson County, plenty of initiatives are underway.
Here in Hoboken, Councilman Ruben Ramos has helped coordinate the effort.
“With the help of the Hoboken Puerto Rican Cultural Committee the Hoboken Fire Department, and various volunteers we collected donations over a seven-day period,” says Ramos. “Between the drop off locations at the Hoboken Fire Houses, 220 Adams Street and the Multi-Service Center we were able to fill the equivalent of four eighteen wheeler trucks.”
Needs are pretty specific. “We collected diapers, baby formula, water, canned food, cereal, pasta, toothbrushes, mosquito spray, new clothes, first aid equipment, batteries, flashlights and more,” says Ramos. “FEMA said no used clothes would be allowed to be transported so we delivered all used clothes to the Salvation Army.”
Meanwhile, other initiatives are underway here in Hoboken to make a difference.
Hoboken Girl is hosting Portraits for a Purpose on Sunday afternoon at Pier A.
Bring a photo of a person or a pet [max 2 people/pets in sketch] to be sketched by Michelle Lupo OR get your photo portrait taken by Will Ferman [max 4 people/2 pets in photo]. Donations via check or cash on-site can be made directly to the HG team at Pier A. Pay what you can, but suggested minimum donation $20.
Proceeds will go to the Hispanic Federation, which has launched the UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund to aid in recovery. 100% of your donation to UNIDOS goes to help citizens recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
In addition, local businesswoman and Mayoral Candidate Karen Nason has teamed up with Mile Square Theatre to host a performance of one-act plays from Tennessee Williams. Shows will be taking place this coming weekend, October 13-15th. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Hurricane Relief Fund from GlobalGiving.org.
“This is not about politics,” says Nason. “This is about coming together to do what’s right for those in need.”
Furthermore, Team Rubicon is continuing its unwavering support of those facing the long road to recovery in multiple locales impacted by what has been an extraordinary hurricane season. Jersey City resident Jon Connors tells us more about the organization, and its mission.
From the City of Hoboken:
The City of Hoboken encourages residents interested in assisting with the Puerto Rico relief effort to consider the guidance issued by FEMA. In particular, cash donations to trusted organizations is the most effective way to support the recovery effort.
The New Jersey For Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund is a new state-wide initiative sponsored and spearheaded by leaders of New Jersey’s half-million-strong Puerto Rican community to rally behind our friends and family on the island who are suffering so terribly in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The partnership with the State of New Jersey, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, and others, was created to get the people of Puerto Rico the aid they so desperately need as fast as possible. For more information and to donate online, visit http://nj4pr.org.
Those who wish to donate goods are encouraged to do so in coordination with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). NVOAD’s website states: “Do not send or bring unsolicited donations.” To offer a donation as an individual or on behalf of a company, please use the form at: https://www.nvoad.org/howtohelp/donate/.
Puerto Rico asks that volunteers not self-deploy, as unexpected arrival in affected communities creates an additional burden for first responders. Volunteer registration for Puerto Rico can be conducted online at: https://prvoad.communityos.org/cms/irma.
The full announcement from FEMA is included below:
Three Ways To Help After Hurricane Maria
WASHINGTON – In the wake of a disaster, Americans have always come together with compassion and courage to ask how they can help survivors. For Hurricane Maria, there are three ways that the public can leverage the expertise and experience of non-profit, faith- and community-based organizations and private sector partners to most effectively and efficiently help provide support for survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and ensure that an individual contribution – whether financial donation or personal volunteerism – is carried out responsibly.
The fastest way to help – cash is best
The most effective means to support recovery of communities affected by Hurricane Maria is to donate money to trusted voluntary-, faith- and community-based charitable organizations. This gives these organizations the ability to purchase what survivors need right now. In addition, when these organizations purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local and regional economy, helping businesses recover faster.
The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) list trusted organizations receiving donations, many of which are already coordinating relief and response efforts in the Caribbean. To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit www.unitedforpuertorico.com. You may also make financial donations to a National VOAD member organization (https://www.nvoad.org/voad-members/) to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to Hurricane Maria survivors.
It is important to remember unsolicited donated goods (e.g., clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs) require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
To responsibly donate goods, the NVOAD website has information on non-profit organizations accepting or registering individual and corporate in-kind donations here (https://www.nvoad.org/howtohelp/donate/).
Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations underway is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations. A list of volunteer websites is available at www.nvoad.org.
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ask that volunteers not self-deploy, as unexpected arrival in affected communities creates an additional burden for first responders. Volunteer registration for Hurricane Maria can be conducted here (https://prvoad.communityos.org/cms/irma) for Puerto Rico and here (https://usvivoad.communityos.org/cms/irma) for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, visit the National VOAD (https://www.nvoad.org/voad-members/) for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register to volunteer here (https://voad.communityos.org/disaster-volunteer-registration?tab=269) for partner organizations to reach out to you.
Patience is paramount, and the need for volunteers endures. Recovery activities associated with Hurricane Maria will require volunteer engagement for many months and years to come, and the help of many will be required.