HF Raises $14 Million for Puerto Rico Relief and Recovery Efforts

Donations have come from more than 100,000 people from all 50 states and U.S. territories and 23 countries

October 17, 2017 (New York, NY) – Hispanic Federation has raised $14 million in just 24 days through the Unidos Disaster Relief & Recovery Program, which was established after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20.

Facing the worst natural disaster in Puerto Rico’s history, people of different backgrounds and from different places have come together as one to provide a helping hand. As of October 14, donations have been received from more than 100,000 people from all 50 states, every US territory, and from 23 countries around the world. The average donation is $103.

“We are grateful to the tens of thousands of people who have donated to the relief effort, and while we are making progress, the situation is still dire in Puerto Rico,” said José Calderón, president of the Hispanic Federation. “Nearly four weeks after Hurricane Maria, most of the island still does not have power, and people are grasping for the most basic needs, including food, water and medicine. This is a humanitarian crisis, and we will continue to do everything we can to uplift and strengthen families and communities throughout Puerto Rico. We appreciate the continued generosity and kindness of our fellow American citizens and individuals from all over the world, and we cannot emphasize enough the immense gratitude we have for Lin-Manuel Miranda and others who have kept Puerto Rico top of mind and encouraged people to donate.”

The support provided so far has allowed Hispanic Federation and its partners to deliver relief aid directly to Puerto Rico and families in need across the island, including:

  • More than 1 million pounds of emergency provisions delivered to distribution centers in San Juan, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Dorado, Vega Alta, Humacao, Ponce, Guayama, Arroyo, Salinas, and Peñuelas. Additional routes and distribution points are currently in development.
  • Eleven relief aid flights sent to Puerto Rico, transporting hundreds of thousands of additional pounds of essential goods, including food, water, medication, and first responders. These flights were coordinated with our community, government, and private sector partners.
  • We have established communications with municipal mayors and suppliers on the island that specialize in collecting, packaging, and moving goods throughout Puerto Rico to create fast, reliable routes to hard-hit areas outside of San Juan – an immense challenge due to lack of power, limited gasoline, damaged and destroyed roads, and a communications black-out.
  • Beyond extensive, ongoing relief, Hispanic Federation has also seeded an initial $2.5 million fund to support grassroots nonprofits on the island with the goal of strengthening the support and social services infrastructure available to families and communities in Puerto Rico.

Just two days after the storm hit, Hispanic Federation was the first to land a plane with aid and first responders in Puerto Rico, working with the Office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to send 22 first responders to help with immediate relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The team included emergency managers to coordinate logistics and help manage recovery operations, members of the New York City Police Department, and staffers from the Department of Buildings with experience in building inspections and checking structural integrity. The Federation has also supported the opening of the City and FDNY donation sites at 17 New York firehouses and continues to promote its donation collection and distribution work on a daily basis.

And we have been at the forefront of local and national advocacy efforts pushing Congress and our federal government to provide American families and communities on the island with the relief and resources they need to recover and heal.

Much more work remains to be done in Puerto Rico – 84% of the island still doesn’t have power, and an unbearable number of Puerto Ricans remain without regular access to potable water and food. Hispanic Federation will continue to use the Unidos fund to support much-needed relief efforts and the long-term recovery of Puerto Rico.

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About Hispanic Federation

The mission of the Hispanic Federation is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. The Hispanic Federation provides grants and services to a broad network of Latino non-profit agencies serving the most vulnerable members of the Hispanic community and advocates nationally with respect to the vital issues of education, health, immigration, economic empowerment, civic engagement and the environment. For more information, please visit