Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico one year ago, and here's how you can still help
On September 20th, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico. It caused massive devastation and ultimately lead to nearly 3,000 deaths. And even though it’s been a year, the U.S. territory is still coping with the destruction.
But there’s still a ton you can do to help.
In an article for Mashable, José Calderón, president of the Hispanic Federation, wrote that over the course of one month, the Federation will join 250 other organizations in the “Take Action for Puerto Rico!” campaign. The campaign will call for the government to create a relief plan for Puerto Rico, demanding that the U.S. federal government works to improve the territory’s access to health care, economic development, and climate change preparedness.
If you want to get involved in the campaign, there are many ways to do so.
According to the campaign’s website, you can register an organization to become a part of the campaign’s coalition, call your elected representatives to demand relief for Puerto Rico, or sign a petition asking for the same thing. The website also provides links to local Puerto Rican organizations that are in need of support.
You can also donate directly to organizations that are providing relief for Hurricane Maria survivors.
Charity Navigator provides a helpful guide to groups that are responding, which—in addition to the Hispanic Federation—includes Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, International Relief Teams, and Mercy Corps.
CNN has also set up a fundraiser for 20 charities working to aid Hurricane Maria victims, including Red Cross and Americares.
Another good way to help? Visit Puerto Rico.
You can sign up to help through National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, or visit Connect Relief for other volunteer opportunities.
And even taking a vacation to Puerto Rico could be beneficial. As People.compoints out, 7% of the island’s gross national income comes from tourism.
If you’re feeling powerless, remember: There’s always something you can do—and it will absolutely make a difference.