Unidos Pa 'PR completed $125,000 in humanitarian aid donations
In little more than 20 days, the community and Puerto Rican leaders of North Philly managed to raise donations that exceed $100,000. Last week they delivered $25,000 to the Salvation Army.
A month after Hurricane Maria left millions of Puerto Ricans in the midst of a serious humanitarian crisis - revealing the deep vulnerability of the island and the total lack of tact of President Trump - the Puerto Rican community of Philadelphia gives the country an important lesson of solidarity.
Last week, the organizing committee of the Unidos Pa’ PR campaign unveiled the progress made in just over 20 days of collecting donations for the island's victims.
According to a press release, the campaign has raised more than $125,000 in aid for the victims of Hurricane Maria.
The tragedy in the Caribbean brought together members and community leaders in North Philadelphia. Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez, state legislators Ángel Cruz and Emilio Vásquez, and the Concilio organization presented a check for $25,000 destined to the support of the Salvation Army’s humanitarian work in rural Puerto Rico.
According to the statement, this organization has served 1.2 million people affected by the cyclone. "We not only provide food, we also provide emotional and spiritual support in some of the most remote areas of the island, such as Fajardo, Humacao, Arecibo, Mayagüez, and Caguas," said Lt. Col. Stephen W. Banfield, Division Commander of the Salvation Army.
"The majority of Puerto Ricans in the mainland have families on the island, so the duty to help each other is part of what it means to be Puerto Ricans," Quiñones-Sanchez said during the press conference.
Cruz and Vázquez presented a resolution at the Pennsylvania General Assembly to urge the Trump administration to suspend indefinitely the Jones Act, a rule that affects efforts for the island because it imposes restrictions on the transportation of goods between ports which benefit the national shipping industry.
"We expect to push for a permanent removal [of the law] in Congress," Rep. Cruz said.
For now, the organizing committee of the Unidos Pa' PR campaign decided to focus on receiving cash donations since it’s the best way to support humanitarian work on the island.
To continue sending food products, and supplies such as water purifiers, among others, means incurring higher costs, they clarified.