NY Loves PR
“Puerto Rico was born in me……”
I was born in a hospital in Yauco, Puerto Rico back in 1981.
Technology, at that time in a local town considered to be located in the “boondox,” was minimal.
My birth wasn’t easy but I insisted to be brought into this world.
Weeks after my harsh entrance into this world, it was discovered that I had a heart condition.
A condition that could not be taken care of in the American Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
And so, my family did what they could to raise funds to get me to the states and get me the health care that I needed in order to survive.
Had I stayed in PR, I may not have lived past 6 months of age.
Although I only lived in Puerto Rico the first 8 months of my life, the island is completely and totally ingrained in my soul.
Every year, we revisited the island to break bread with the loved ones we left behind.
And as far back as I can remember, every time I leave the island, I feel an intense sadness… as if I’m abandoning a loved one. Puerto Rico always felt like home to me but unfortunately with the economic crisis on the island, moving there has never been a true option to me so far. But every chance I get, I visit the island and bask in the glow of the sun, the clearness of the ocean and the vivaciousness of the people.
On September 20, 2017, the unthinkable happened. Hurricane Maria approached the island of Puerto Rico as a category 5 and hit land as a category 4, leaving the island in apocalyptic conditions. Today, 89% of the island is still without power and approximately 60% continue on without running water. Most of the island has been left without any means to communicate with members of their family both on and off the island. Thousands of people were left without homes and in the interim have lost all or most of their belongings. The simplest items we depend on daily, they are without.
I can only imagine the feelings of despair and helplessness the natives are currently experiencing in comparison to the anxiety we are experiencing stateside over their well being. Getting to Puerto Rico was nearly impossible in the past 3 weeks and getting people off the island is unaffordable with tickets being priced as high as two thousand American dollars.
This feeling of not being able to do more for my people was overwhelming and made me lose plenty of sleep until Omar and I started brainstorming what we could do. With the help of a couple of other friends, we decided to just start taking donations ourselves and trying to figure out how we could help Puerto Rico in our own way.
And so we came up with this.
#NYlovesPR is collecting items to be delivered to the local communities of Puerto Rico.
These items include but are not limited to:
Canned/Boxed non perishable food items
Water (canned, boxed or bottled)
Water purifier tablets
Personal hygiene products
Gently used summer/spring clothing
Gently used bed sheets
First Aid Supplies
If you have any questions about what you can donate, please feel free to contact us by finding us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nylovespr or Instagram @NYlovesPR
Any monetary donations will go towards the delivery of these items and Water Purifying tablets for the more rural areas who have less access to local stores.
Donations will be ongoing throughout the months of October, November and December possibly leading into the early months of 2018.
#NYlovesPR is dedicated to sending items to some connections we have in Puerto Rico such as family members and friends who have the resources around the island (to include Mayaguez, Santa Isabel, Caguas, Carolina, Humacao, Camuy, Quebradillas, Juana Diaz and Yauco) to help distribute to those in need around them in order to ensure the local communities in PR.
We are also trying to increase our connections across the island so if you know of anyone who may live there or have a connection there with the means to communicate and pick up items at their local post office, please feel free to give them my information!
There is very limited data connectivity on the island, however, for those who have the means, we are asking that they take a picture with our logo, attached on this email so we can show everyone who has donated that they are receiving our donations. We already have some people on board and ready to receive with arms of gratitude and appreciation.
For more information on how you can help in any way, please follow @NYlovesPR on Instagram and we will be keeping everyone updated frequently on our progress in this initiative!
We will be "hashtagging" all donations, updates, etc with #NYlovesPR
If you are in another state, we will be more than glad to include a logo particular to your state as well. I have included logo's for PA, NJ and Florida!
Simply spreading the word is a huge help to the natives of my birthplace.