"Unidos": A Hurricane Relief Fund for Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico
Hispanic Federation and Coalition of Community Organizations and Elected Officials Launch “Unidos”: A Hurricane Relief Fund for Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico
Hispanic Federation and Latino civic leadership pledge a $50,000 fund to help support those impacted by the earthquake in Mexico
The Federation also commits to support people in the Dominican Republic affected by Hurricane Maria
A coalition of New York City civic leaders including Mayor Bill DeBlasio, U.S. Congress Members Nydia Velázquez and Adriano Espaillat, and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have joined the Hispanic Federation and its partnering community based organizations to launch “Unidos” (United), a hurricane relief fund to help those impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
The fund will be managed by the Hispanic Federation, a leading Latino nonprofit organization with more than 25 years of experience in providing disaster-relief assistance to Latinos in the United States and Latin America. One hundred percent of the proceeds will help hurricane victims and the recovery efforts through fellow community and civic organizations in Puerto Rico.
“The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is unprecedented in the island’s modern history,” said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “As the island struggles to recover from multiple disasters, including a long-term economic crisis and the damage wrought by Hurricane Irma just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Maria’s destructive forces has deepened the suffering of the Puerto Rican people beyond comprehension. Yet throughout all of this, the Puerto Rican community throughout the United States is joining hands with the island and saying ¡Presente!”
The Fund was the result of an emergency meeting held on September 20th at the Hispanic Federation, while Hurricane Maria was still devastating Puerto Rico, leaving 3.5 million residents without electricity and communications within and outside the island. Early preliminary reports have described the situation as catastrophic. With the hurricane now pummeling the Dominican Republic, and the extent of the damage there unknown, the Hispanic Federation also commits to supporting people in need on that island.
Besides Velázquez, Espaillat and Mark- Viverito, and New York community leaders, the meeting was also attended by Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, and Council Members Mark Levine and Ydanis Rodríguez. The Mayor participated via Conference Call.
“The devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria will only be compounded by the ongoing economic and financial crisis already afflicting Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico faces challenging times ahead, but I am confident that the indefatigable spirit of the Puerto Rican people will allow the Island to persevere,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “In the interim, the federal government has a moral obligation to provide assistance, and I will continue working to ensure every appropriate tool is utilized to help alleviate this crisis.”
"People have opened their hearts and wallets to aid all whose lives have been devastated by recent hurricanes, and this generosity must be met by immediate and robust federal assistance. Aid to Puerto Rico must address both the immediate emergency relief needed as well as the long-term need for major infrastructure investment, including hardening the island's electric grid to be able to withstand future severe weather," added U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) “New York City stands with Puerto Rico,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Today, we announced that the City is assembling a team from NYC’s Office of Emergency Management to help with recovery efforts. This team will join NYPD and FDNY personnel already on the ground. We’ve also facilitated voluntary donations from City employees. We urge New Yorkers to give their time, money, thoughts and prayers in this great time of need.” "New Yorkers have always generously responded to people in great need, and we are ready to provide any assistance to Puerto Rico and surrounding islands at this time,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am grateful to work with the Hispanic Federation to support their relief efforts in order to provide as much help and resources. Our city will support the people of Puerto Rico in every way possible. My thoughts and heart are with the 3 million Puerto Ricans on the island going through this awful devastation."
“Waves near 10 feet high have caused huge storm surges, and winds as strong as 155mph have ripped towns and homes apart. We have witnessed so much devastation this hurricane season, and the impact has been particularly destructive and reaped havoc throughout the Caribbean – leaving millions of families without shelter, electricity, and their lives in ruins,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic merely days following the destruction and damage left in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Katia. A series of life threatening floods, mudslides and devastation has left communities in peril. Recovery and rebuilding will not be easy, but it is necessary that we build with future disasters in mind. We all have a part to play in the recovery efforts, and we each must answer that call to provide relief and aid in the immense rebuilding efforts that it will take to assist all who have been affected. These recent hurricanes have been unprecedented, but we must remain vigilant and continue forward to rebuild. I have called for congressional emergency hearings to provide aid through the U.S. Department of State for Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean nations including Antigua and Barbuda, Republic of Haiti, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands in the wake of the catastrophic devastation. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. Let’s join together to pray for these communities and help them rebuild.”
“In the wake of unprecedented and successive hurricanes, Connecticut stands with and ready to respond to the needs of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean nations affected. Especially in the case of Puerto Rico, you do not stand alone. Connecticut’s 300,000 Puerto Ricans will stand with you in demanding that Congress act swiftly and responsibly on behalf of the 3.5 million citizens on the Island. Both the White House and Congress hold the power to provide all necessary recovery and rebuilding assistance the Island needs. I pledge my commitment to work with our state’s Congressional delegation to ensure all necessary assistance provided to Puerto Rican U.S. Citizens does not come in the form of additional debt for the Island.”-Juan Candelaria, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Connecticut General Assembly
“New Yorkers have always generously responded to people in great need, and we are ready to provide any assistance to Puerto Rico and surrounding islands at this time,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am grateful to work with the Hispanic Federation to support their relief efforts in order to provide as much help and resources. Our city will support the people of Puerto Rico in every way possible. My thoughts and heart are with the 3 million Puerto Ricans on the island going through this awful devastation. "
Unfortunately, Hurricane Maria’s destruction has been simultaneously joined with the devastation of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Mexico City which has left an estimated 230 killed and more than 800 injured. In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Mexico, the Federation and Latino civic leadership pledges to establish a $50,000 fund to help support those impacted by this tragedy. To make a donation people can go online, send a text message or visit any branch of Popular Community Bank.
To donate via text, compose a new text message for number 41444. Type UNIDOS (space) YOUR AMOUNT (space) and YOUR NAME. (For example: Unidos 100 John Doe) Then press “send” and click on the link to complete your donation.
To donate via website, visit www.hispanicfederation.org/donate and select “Hurricane Relief Effort” from the drop-down menu.
To donate in person, visit any Popular Community Bank branch.
Account name: Hurricane Relief Effort.
Checking account number 6810893500.