Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis after Hurricane Maria ripped through the island last week. Humanitarian aid isn’t reaching the island quickly enough, and 3.4 million residents are running low on essentials like food, clean water, and fuel.
Because of the hurricane, the entire island has lost power; many people, along with the Puerto Rico’s hospitals, are relying on generators, but even those are at risk of failure. It remains unknown how long it will take for power to get back up and running, but some estimates put the timeline at as long as six months.
Immediately after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would be making efforts to provide support to the island’s citizens. Other local officials have arranged to provide desperately needed aid. Here is what’s being done and how you can help:
Rebuild Puerto Rico by Tidal
Governor Andrew Cuomo is working with music streaming service TIDAL to collect enough supplies for Hurricane Maria victims to fill an entire plane by October 5. Hip-hop heavyweights, like the Bronx’s own Fat Joe, along with former New York Giants player Victor Cruz and many other celebrities will be at the Jacob Javits Center on Saturday, September 30 collecting supplies until 6 p.m. If you can’t make it there, donations are also being accepted at the following locations:
- Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn
- Jamaica Street Armory
93-05 168th Street, Queens
- Roberto Clemente State Park
301 West Tremont Ave, Bronx
- Department of Motor Vehicles
696 E Fordham Road, Bronx
If you can’t make it to any of these locations, but would still like to donate, there is an Amazon wishlist that you can purchase from and have delivered.
Puerto Rico and Mexico Relief Funds
El Museo del Barrio New York is encouraging to New Yorkers to donate supplies to one of the three locations listed below. Accepted items haven’t been specified but we assume that non-perishables, water, infant care items, batteries, and flashlights rank high among the list. You can also call ahead to see what items are being requested.
- Casabe Senior Houses: 150 East 121 Street, New York, NY
Phone: (212) 410-5467
Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- El Maestro, Inc.: 1300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY
Phone: (646) 299-6507
Monday through Friday 2 to 8 p.m.
- MOMA PS1: 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY
Phone: (718) 784-2084
Thursday through Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Donation Drive for Puerto Rico and Mexico
In the Bronx, the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization will work with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to host a donation drive to help the victims in Puerto Rico and in Mexico City. Donations of non-perishable food, cases of water, flashlights, portable lanterns, batteries, diapers, baby wipes, baby food, clothing, and feminine hygiene products are being accepted.
The drive will take place on Saturday, September 30, 2017, beginning at 12 p.m at the corner of Southern Boulevard and Aldus Street.
Lower East Side Hurricane Collection Drives
Several local businesses on the Lower East Side are hosting fundraisers as well as collecting supplies to send to victims in Puerto Rico. Among them are:
- Smith Houses Tenant Association: On Saturday, September 30, the association will be selling food to raise donation funds as well accepting packaged goods as donations. The event will run from noon to 8 p.m. at the baseball field located on Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place between South Street and Pearl Street.
- WhyNotCare & Iglesia Evangelica Bautista: The church will be collecting toiletries, diapers, new blankets, water, batteries, and canned goods on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m to 8 p.m. Donations can be dropped off at 393 East 8th Street and the church can also be reached at (646)783-8123.
Pa’ Puerto Rico
Popular event venue SOB’s will host “A Party Called Rosie Perez” on Thursday, October 5 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m that will feature special guests. The event requires a minimum donation of $10 and also encourages donations of water, batteries, flashlights, lanterns, water filters, and school supplies which all can additionally be dropped off at one of five different locations.
There are 17 firehouses and EMS stations throughout the five boroughs that will be accepting donations of diapers, baby food, batteries, first aid supplies, and feminine hygiene products. to provide relief to the people of Puerto Rico. At the moment, only these five items are being accepted. Liquids of any kind as well as second-hand items and perishables will not be accepted. Below are the participating locations:
- Engine 91 (East Harlem): 242 East 111th Street
- Engine 95 / Ladder 36 (Inwood): 29 Vermilyea Avenue
- Engine 28 / Ladder 11 (Lower East Side): 222 East 2nd Street
- EMS Station 26 (Morrisania): 1264 Boston Road
- EMS Station 55 (Melrose): 3134 Park Avenue
- Engine 64 / Ladder 47 (Castle Hill): 1214 Castle Hill Avenue
- Engine 83 / Ladder 29 (Mott Haven/South Bronx): 618 East 138th Street
- Engine 316 (East Elmhurst): 27-12 Kearney Street
- Engine 289 / Ladder 138 (Corona): 97-28 43rd Avenue
- Engine 307 / Ladder 154 (Jackson Heights): 81-17 Northern Boulevard
- Engine 271 / Ladder 124 (Bushwick): 392 Himrod Street
- Engine 277 / Ladder 112 (Bushwick): 582 Knickerbocker Avenue
- Engine 218 (Bushwick): 650 Hart Street
- Engine 201 / Ladder 114 (Sunset Park): 5113 4th Avenue
- Engine 228 (Sunset Park): 436 39th Street
- Engine 153 / Ladder 77 (Stapleton): 74 Broad Street
- Engine 157 / Ladder 80 (Port Richmond): 1573 Castleton Avenue
- Ladder 79 (Port Richmond): 1189 Castleton Avenue
There have been many other natural disasters happening almost back-to-back lately, across various regions, including Texas and many Caribbean islands. The New York Times has crafted a thorough list of other ways in which you can help. Check it out here.