Friday, November 22, 2019

Puerto Rico opens aid-collection centers for Hurricane Dorian victims

By on September 4, 2019

How to help as humanitarian crisis unfolds

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s Legislative Assembly joined Fundación Haití to run several drop-off centers to collect basic articles at the Capitol and across the island to help victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

According to reports, Hurricane Dorian left at least 50 dead and a list of hundreds missing, along with catastrophic damage to some 13,000 homes.

Some people are listed as missing, the Bahamas government said Wednesday. But it cautioned that the names had yet to be checked against the rosters of people evacuated from the devastated islands or staying in shelters.

The president of the Mayors Federation, Carlos Molina Rodríguez, announced that the 33 municipalities that make up the group will set up collection centers, while Puerto Rico Cambia, a youth-led organization, was also opening collection centers.

In the private sector, Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers hired a plane to depart for Nassau from where aid will be delivered to the most affected Bahamian islands.

The company urged citizens to cooperate in the collection of essential items that will be transported to help the thousands of citizens who have suffered the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian.

“There is no time to lose. We have seen the unprecedented disaster caused by the natural phenomenon after passing through the Bahamas and we cannot sit idly by,” said Alberto de la Cruz, president of Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers & CC1 Cos. and coordinator of the aid effort. “We call on the people and companies to join this initiative to collect as many supplies as possible.”

Due to the plane’s weight capacity, no clothes, canned food or water will be collected for now. “If necessary, the operation will be extended after the date indicated. For additional information you can call: 787-288-6400,” the company’s release says.

Meanwhile, Mastercard partnered with the American Red Cross, among others, and donated $200,000 to expand aid delivery.

In addition to its donation, Mastercard said it will waive any interchange fees related to donations through Nov. 15, “together with its issuing banks, to a variety of charitable organizations supporting those impacted by the recent natural disaster.”

Charities include:

  • Americares
  • American Red Cross
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Mercy Corps
  • Save the Children
  • World Vision
  • World Food Program USA

The company also launched a supply and donations drive, for which it will match, “dollar for dollar, every donation made by employees,” Mastercard said in a release Wednesday.

“Fortunately, in Puerto Rico we were not affected by the passage of Hurricane Dorian. However, our heart is with our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas and we are still watching this phenomenon,” said Puerto Rico Cambia‘s executive director, Jorge E. Pagán.

He said the group was speaking with several physical and mental health professionals to reach the Bahamas and provide medical aid and deliver supplies.

The deputy executive director of the entity, Adrián Quiñones, also urged people to help.

“During hurricanes Irma and María, the world…was in solidarity with [Puerto Rico]. Today, we have to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas,” he stressed. “We call on all those who want to contribute to make their donation through ATH Móvil 787-528-7306. You can also call the same number through our social networks for any delivery of supplies and information updates. (Facebook: Puerto Rico Cambia; Instagram: PR Cambia; Twitter: PR Cambia).”

The following are Puerto Rico Cambia’s drop-off centers:

📍Ajuntas

Culture and Tourism Office next to the mayor’s office

📍Arecibo

ICPR Junior College

National University College and Extension Center

📍 Aguadilla

National University College and Extension Center

📍Bayamón

Fundación Sonrisas pa ’mi gente, (787) 349-6530

Urbanization Santa Cruz, Calle 3 C-3 Bayamón P.R. 00961

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Iglesia Casa de Adoración Jabes, (787) 785-6100

Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

ICPR Junior College

National University College and Extension Center

📍Caguas

Rayito de Esperanza Foundation, (787) 653-9864

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 am-4pm

Ándale Restaurant, 787-626-9367

📍Carolina

San Fernando de la Carolina Funeral Home, (787) 675-3101

Hours: Monday-Sunday 8 am-6pm

📍Cataño

Cosme Beitia Sálamo Coliseum

📍Corozal

Elías Cafeteria, 787-226-2880

📍 Dorado

Centro Cristiano Gracia y Gozo

Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar

📍Guaynabo

Wesleyan Academy, (787) 451-1666

Hours: Monday-Sunday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

📍Jayuya

Ven-rose

📍Hato Rey

ICPR Junior College

📍Las Piedras

Comité La Power Chicharronada

📍Loíza

Loíza Funeral Home, 787-675-3101

📍 Manatí

ICPR Junior College

📍Mayagüez

ICPR Junior College

📍Moca

National University College

📍Ponce

National University College

📍Guayama

National University College

📍San Juan

Rep. Juan Oscar Morales’ office, (787) 945-2003

Ave. 65 Infantería Centro Comercial El Flamboyán

Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

USDA Forest Service-IIFT

📍San Sebastián

Pepino Tools Inc., Bo. Hato Arriba Carr. 111, (939) 292-0971

Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Iglesia Ciudad Deseada

📍Trujillo Alto

JUCUM, (787) 221-3421

Ministerio Casa de Pacto, (787) 568-6036, PR-876 Km. 3.2 Trujillo Alto, P.R. 00976

📍Vega Baja

Cafetería Villa Real

📍Yauco

NUC

Raúl Pipote Coliseum

📍Yabucoa

Concha Acústica across fire station

📍Lares

Félix Méndez Coliseum

📍Toa Baja

Carmen Sol School

📍Hotels:

Caribe Hilton – San Juan

Embassy Suites San Juan Hotel & Casino – San Juan

Embassy Suites by Hilton Dorado del Mar Resort – Dorado

Hampton Inn Suites by Hilton – San Juan

Double Tree by Hilton- San Juan

Mayor Molina said: “When Hurricane Maria hit us, thousands of people from around the world helped us in multiple ways. Solidarity surfaced and now we Puerto Ricans cannot stand idly by when we see the historic damage in the Bahamas. Today, the 33 mayors will be creating collection centers in each of their municipalities, to collect essential items such as canned food among other non-perishable products. We know that our call will…be able to bring relief” to the fellow islanders.

Guaynabo Mayor Ángel Pérez will help coordinate shipping the items collected at a center set up across the Mario Quijote Coliseum boardwalk, next to the hospital.

“We will be collecting for the moment ONLY emergency items: BAHAMAS RELIEF COLLECTION NEEDS THE FOLLOWING: Tools, hammers, Chain Saws, Hand Saws, First Aid Supplies, Work Gloves, Tarps, Generators, Batteries, Flashlights, Diapers, Baby Formula, Sanitizing Wipes, Toiletries, Sanitizer, Water Purification Tabs, Water filters, Bleach, Insect Repellent,” reads the town’s Facebook page.

Molina said the mayors will ask Gov. Wanda Vázquez whether the central government can collaborate to transport donations.

Fundación Haití went to the aid of 68 of Puerto Rico’s towns after Hurricane Maria struck, the Senate said in its press release announcing that both of Puerto Rico’s legislative chambers had joined Fundación Haití to provide aid.

“Puerto Rico is a very generous country and that has been more than evidenced over the years. Today, our brothers in the Bahamas need us, so this Senate has joined the effort of the doctors and volunteers of the Fundación Haití,” Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz said.

For his part, House Speaker Méndez Núñez stressed that “our north is to directly help people affected by the powerful Hurricane Dorian. Many gave us a hand when we needed after the passage of [Hurricane] Maria, and our people do not forget. That is why we join the Senate in this initiative that aims to collect essential items to help our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas, as well as in other affected areas. We are not going to leave them.”

The foundation’s president emeritus, Dr. Carlos Mellado, said in the Senate’s release that “just as we have been giving it our maximum for the health of each and every Haitian since 2010, we will do the same with each of our Caribbean brothers and sisters in the Bahamas who now need us more than ever.”

All medical items will be donated to Haiti Se Pone De Pie, while the other basic items will be delivered to other nonprofit institutions. The Senate said it is only a liaison between citizens and the organizations.

For additional information, contact the Office of Public Affairs or the Senate’s Central Government Affairs Office at 787-724-2030, 787-723-8359 or 787-723-1651.

More information can be found on the chamber’s website, www.senado.pr.gov, and social media pages: www.facebook.com/senadodepuertorico and www.twitter.com/senadopr.

The items to be collected are:
-Water
-Canned food, grains and flour
· Ibuprofen
· Acetaminophen
· Aspirin
· Triple antibiotic ointment
· Antacids
· Pedialyte
· Multivitamins
· Over-the counter allergy medications
· First aid kits and articles
· Gauzes
· Band-Aid
· Bandages
· Gas, diesel or propane generators
· Fuel storage tanks and containers
· Portable stoves
· Water storage tanks and containers
· Tarps
· Tents
· Batteries of all kinds
· Flashlights of all kinds
· Candles
· Matches and lighters
· Power chargers
· UHT milk
· Infant milk formula
· Disposable baby diapers
· Hygiene products
· Any other item that could be used to recover from an emergency situation

The following organizations are also requesting donations to help the hurricane victims.

The Salvation Army‘s Bahamas branch, through The Salvation Army’s website or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

The Bahamas Red Cross is seeking cash donations as well as the following items: non-perishable goods, baby supplies, cleaning items and bedding. The website was “temporarily unable to service” requests “as it exceeded resource limit,” however, donations can be made via the American Red Cross, at www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-dorian-donations.

The relief organization Third Wave has pulled together medical and response teams, according to USA Today. To sign up as a volunteer or make a donation, visit the group’s website.

Those interested in volunteering or donating through Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen can visit the website for more information.

—CyberNews contributed to this report.

—Caribbean Business’ parent company, Grupo LMH, joined hardware distributor Sedco Corp., which has offices in Florida as well, in collecting supplies for Hurricane Dorian victims in the Bahamas and providing them to the country’s National Emergency Management Agency.

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