UPDATED: Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, La Isla de Encanta, and has left the island destroyed and without power. My family hasn’t been able to reach our family members currently on the island, and many others are in similar situations. Seeing destruction in areas and peoples lives changed in an instant is always devasting, but when you see it occur in a place so familiar, so close to you, it hits another area of your heart completely. I cried in my sleep the other night while saying my prayers, thinking of my cousins, and the places I’ve spoken about so much now completely ruined.
What really brought me to tears was thinking of my grandmother, who recently passed. If anyone held Puerto Rico in their heart, it was her. She spoke of the island my entire life with such passion, love, and happiness. If anyone was Puerto Rican she was immediately a fan. She never watched football but knew Victor Cruz, she only watched the Yankees when Jorge Posada played, she loved herself some Daddy Yankee and would marry Marc Anthony in a second. I could only imagine how sad my grandmother would have been if she was alive today. To see her island in such distress and know she couldn’t get in touch with her nephews would have hurt her so deeply, and for that, I weep too.
I say all this to say, that this is really personal for me. If you haven’t donated yet for any hurricane relief or even if you already have, I really really hope you can take a moment to do so now. Below are a few places, and websites I could find accepting donations and volunteers for the people of Puerto Rico. I’ll update this list as I find out more.
Puerto Rico Relief/Donation Drop-off Locations can be found in this super helpful document HERE.
DCRicans for Puerto Rico is hosting a fundraising event tonight at Hawk n’ Dove. More info can be found HERE.
United for Puerto Rico is accepting donations HERE.
Alexis Joanna, owner of an online boutique of the same name, is donating 100% of the proceeds from sales of her “Yo Soy” necklace collection. I just bought mine! You can find yours HERE.
If you’re searching for how to reach family in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration has a phone number and an email address you can reach out to. The email address will direct you to the islands disaster relief team.
MEXICO was also hit with a terrifying earthquake this week that has killed over 200 people! If you’re looking for how to help and donate to their relief efforts, here are some options:
Global Giving is accepting donations to help survivors with food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. Donate HERE.
Topos Mexico is a non-profit in Mexico that was founded after the 1985 earthquake. They are excepting donations through paypal to assist with rescue efforts. You can paypal them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Selma Hayek is raising money to support UNICEF‘s relief efforts. If you’d like to donate you can find that HERE.
If you’ve been like me, reading post after post about the tragedy in Houston, and the upcoming devastation in the Caribbean and potentially Florida, then you’ve probably also been wondering how you can help.
Living so far away, I’ve been feeling so helpless. Donating money to Red Cross just doesn’t seem like enough. If you live in the DC area, here are local restaurants, businesses, schools, churches etc., that are accepting donations, and/or holding charity drives to help victims from Hurricane Harvey and/or Irma.
This post will be updated as I learn of any additional places, especially after we learn more about the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
Taco Bamba – All proceeds from their Ricky Bobby taco will go towards hurricane relief until Friday September 8th.
World Central Kitchen – Jose Andres and many other chefs are currently in Houston cooking and providing meals for families in Houston. To help them continue this effort, you can donate HERE.
Black Restaurant Group – At Black Restaurant Group’s (BRG) properties, diners can add a donation directly to their bill, and BRG will match it to the dollar, now through September 14th. Participating restaurants are Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Black Jack, Tilt Side Bar, BlackSalt, Black’s Bar and Kitchen, Black Market Bistro, Republic, and Addie’s.
Cuba Libre Restaurant – $1 from every Tito’s Vodka cocktail ordered will be donated to hurricane relief.
Kingfisher – For every Texas item ordered on the menu, they will donate 50% of the proceeds to hurricane relief efforts. As of yesterday, they’ve reached $1,000!
Etete – Whitney Stringer PR, Damelia Shaw and Etete have partnered up to host a Donation Drive Happy Hour on Monday, September 11th from 6:00-8:00p.m. Toiletries, diapers and baby formula are needed!
RedRocks – The H St NE locations will be holding a food & clothing drive on September 13th from 6:00p.m. – 9:00p.m. They are also looking for volunteers to help package items for delivery. More info can be found HERE.
DC Bilingual PCS – Now through September 19th DC Bilingual will be accepting donations of toiletries, household goods, books, and clothing. These items will be sent and distributed to various shelters. Address: 33 Riggs Road, NE Washington DC
Alfred St Baptist Church – Will be accepting physical and monetary donations this month that will be sent to local churches and community centers in Houston. Monetary donations can be made HERE.
Help Anguilla – A GoFundMe has started to help the island of Anguilla rebuild after Hurricane Irma. You can donate HERE.
Greater Houston Community Foundation – Monetary donations to the Hurricane Harvey Relief fund can be made HERE.
Texas Diaper Bank – Diapers are needed for families with young children. They can be mailed to 5415 Bandera Rd. #504 San Antonio, TX 78238. If you’d prefer to make a monetary donation, you can do that HERE.
Heart to Heart International – Will be accepting donations for hurricane relief for both Harvey and Irma victims. For more info and to make a donation, click HERE.
The Salvation Army – The downtown Salvation Army is accepting donations as well as training emergency disaster services volunteers. More info can be found HERE.
I’m sure there are many more businesses collecting donations for Harvey and who are about to start collecting for Irma. If you know of any, please let me know so that I can update this list.
Continue to keep all our fellow brothers and sisters affected by these two natural disasters in your prayers, thoughts, etc!