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Four Ways You Can Help Victims of Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico Needs You

By Teyana JacksonPublished 7 years ago 2 min read
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In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, huge sections of Puerto Rico are in shambles. The official death count is currently teetering around 16, but hundreds are still missing and experts say they expect that number to rise drastically—possibly into triple digits.

In situations like this, it's imperative that people rise to the occasion. Hurricane Maria is the worst natural disaster the island has seen in nearly a century, and Puerto Rico's inhabitants are struggling. There is currently virtually no running water or electricity, and an estimated eighty percent of their crops have been destroyed, leaving over 3 million citizens in need of assistance. Below are four ways that you can get involved in the effort to aid Puerto Rico and those affected.

1. Donate

Funding is hugely important in relief efforts. If you're not able to lend your time or support physically, there are a number of organizations currently accepting monetary donations which I've listed down below. Cash is the quickest and easiest way to provide assistance, and every dollar counts.

Organizations accepting donations:

  • UNICEF
  • United for Puerto Rico
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • International Medical Corps
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Americares
  • Direct Relief
  • Save the Children
  • Global Giving

2. Provide Supplies

The government of Puerto Rico has provided a detailed guide on how individuals or companies can donate emergency and construction supplies. Things like bottled water and formula are in incredibly high demand, and donations are welcomed by a variety of organizations, such as the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. However, it should be noted that many organizations prefer monetary donations as it makes it easier to provide help where it's needed as quickly as possible, and due to transportation and communication failures, the distribution of supplies is sluggish at best.

3. Volunteer

In the coming weeks and months, the island will need volunteers to help rebuild communities and take part in disaster clean up. Relief work is not for the faint of heart, as many of the things volunteers will have to face won't be exactly a walk in the park. Help is in high demand though, and if you feel like it's something you can handle, VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) is a great place to start. Their website has all of the information necessary to get you prepped and properly matched up with the right volunteer opportunity. For any veterans or first responders who'd like a chance to get involved, there's also Team Rubicon, an organization made up of former service members and first responders and dedicated to quickly deploying emergency response team wherever they're needed.

4. Spread the Word

Puerto Rico is getting only a fraction of the assistance areas like Florida or Texas did after they were hit by natural disasters. Although it may seem like a world apart to many Americans, Puerto Rico is still a U.S. territory, and its people are as much a part of this country as you or I. Talk to your friends, family, and community about the devastation in the area, and let others know what they can do to help. The more people there are talking about the problem, the better the chance of getting people involved.

Remember, even the smallest effort or donation is something!

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About the Creator

Teyana Jackson

An aspiring writer and poet currently living on the East Coast. More work can be found on allpoetry.com, thebluenib.com, and in the poetry anthologies "Circular Whispers" and "Seasonal Perspective"

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