How you can help hurricane victims

Hurricane relief to Puerto Rico is sluggish. Many have died. Here is how you can help.

After the disasterous hurricanes Harvey and Irma laid waste to vast areas of Texas and Florida, relief efforts came online very quickly. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were also hit, but, perhaps because they are islands distant from the U.S. mainland, help came more slowly. Then the islands were hit again and just as violently by Hurricane Maria. Houses were flattened, roads blocked by trees and mudslides, the electrical grid is a total loss, people are dying in hostpitals and nursing homes, basic necessities like water and food cannot be delivered. The Mayor of San Juan said that if it doesn’t solve the logistics “…what we we are going to see is something close to a genocide”

Carmen Yulín Cruz hugs a woman during her visit to an elderly home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 22 September 2017. Photograph: Thais Llorca/EPA

Carmen Yulín Cruz hugs a woman during her visit to an elderly home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 22 September 2017. Photograph: Thais Llorca/EPA

Here’s what you can do to help:

The Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) is working with Church groups in Puerto Rico, You can donate and read updates of what we are doing here.

In Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico’s first lady Beatriz Roselló set up Unidos por Puerto Rico to connect the private sector to those in need. Donations can be sent in a variety of ways, including PayPal.

Another option in Puerto Rico is ConPRmetidos, which shifted its focus from innovation to helping victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. They are accepting donations here.

In the New York area: The Hispanic Federation teamed up with New York politicians including the mayor and members of Congress to launch “Unidos”: A Hurricane Relief Fund for Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico, which will give 100% of its proceeds to hurricane relief and recovery efforts. Donate here.

In the Miami area: The Puerto Rican Leadership Council is accepting donations of nonperishable food, water, and clothing at several locations. The Miami Herald has the details.

In the Philadelphia area: Nonprofit group El Concilio has launched Unidos PA Puerto Rico to raise money for hurricane relief.

Around the country: The Salvation Army is accepting hurricane relief donations.

GoFundMe has created a central page for Hurricane Maria relief campaigns.
NB: takes 7.9% plus 30¢ off the top of all donations before they even reach the organization soliciting donations. If possible, send money directly to the organization rather than through GoFundMe.)

The volunteer disaster relief organization All Hands needs help rebuilding in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hurricane Irma and Maria response group AmeriCares said they are working with officials in Puerto Rico to stock emergency shelters with medical supplies. This is in addition to their airlift of $1.8 million worth of medicine and supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Crowdfunding site GlobalGiving, which connects donors to nonprofits and companies around the world, will focus on immediate needs of victims and on longer-term recovery efforts “run by local, vetted organizations,” per the website.

Don’t just give to give, though. Do a little research. Charity Navigator is a good resource for picking the right charity.

Thanks to FAST COMPANY for these links.