Help 4 Puerto Rico

For: Claudio Family Hurricane Maria Relief
Puerto Rico
Organizer: Luz Claudio
Help 4 Puerto Rico (Claudio Family Hurricane Maria Relief)
$5,505
of $20,000 goal
27% Complete
Raised by 51 donors

The Story

After Hurricane Maria destroyed much of Puerto Rico, I desperately tried to locate everyone in my large family.  With 18 aunts and uncles, over 60 cousins and countless second cousins, finding everyone in the current conditions was pure anguish. After 7 sleepless nights, I can now say that everyone has been accounted for.  They are alive and uninjured.  But as my mom says, after the "after the storm, come the torments".
We have lost possessions and homes, but not our love for each other nor our spirit of service.  After offering airline tickets out of Puerto Rico to relatives, none has wanted to leave.  In the words of my brother, Francisco: "much work needs to be done here".
My family includes several scientists, public servants, advertising executives, engineers, and other professionals eager to employ their talents on the island we love.  Let's support them so they can bring sustainable rebuilding to Puerto Rico.
Your support will be used for:
1.  Solar-powered generators- Fuel barges have delivered gas and diesel to the ports, but there is no way to distribute the fuel. Some power plants have turned on, but with the electrical grid in shambles, there is no way to distribute electricity.  We will deliver solar panels, converters, and generators of all sizes to health care centers, schools, community centers and other locations.

2. House and support workers, homeless families and stranded tourists: Relief workers from New Jersey, New York, and other areas are arriving in Puerto Rico to help, but they have nowhere to stay.  Help us open and rehabilitate our apartments so that we can house and feed workers and others in need of housing in San Juan. We will take care of them so they can take care of us.

3. Reuse and recycle hurricane debris: As you have seen, there is extensive debris from destroyed homes and businesses.  We will support a crew to help gather and sort debris for reuse in sustainable construction, mulching, and other creative uses.  

4. Seeds and garden supplies: Looking to the future, we will support community vegetable gardens and local farmers that will help feed and sustain families.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 19, 2017

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Posted on December 19, 2017

Imagine if coming home for the holidays meant no electricity, no potable water, and an unrecognizable homeland.                

What does coming home for the holidays mean to you?   

Maybe it means going to the house were you grew up.  Maybe it is opening presents under a Christmas tree.  Maybe it is lighting up a menorah. Maybe it's children playing with brand new toys. Or maybe your family has a unique way of  celebrating this time of year.   For those of us from Puerto Rico, coming home will have new meanings.                  

During this season, coming home for the holidays has meant turning our usual cultural celebrations into fundraisers.  Singing and dancing our music with smiles on our faces, but heavy hearts.  Children playing, not with brand new toys, but with dominoes under kerosene lamps. 

Three months after the hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico, only 58% of the island has electrical power.   Most of my family is still in the dark and some, including my parents, are without potable water. 

Their wishes for the Holidays?  Solar-powered generators, water filters, tools for rebuilding damaged porches, seeds for replanting gardens.  

Our biggest hope for going home for the holidays this year is that we will not be forgotten. Thank you all for not forgetting us.   

May your holidays be merry and bright!       


Posted on December 10, 2017

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Posted on December 10, 2017

This is my brother Francisco, aka Floyd. Ever since I can remember, he's had a great passion for helping people who are wheelchair-bound. Starting at 18 years old, he volunteered at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Realizing that most of the funds that they raised went to the organization’s headquarters in the US, Floyd decided to start a local volunteer organization to help people suffering from muscular dystrophy in Puerto Rico.

With a group of great friends, he co-founded Sin Paredes (Without Walls), a not-for-profit organization that helps people who are wheelchair-bound, regardless of the cause or level of their disability. Sin Paredes is best known for their summer camps, which are legendary celebrations of the abilities of the “disabled”. 

The group organizes residential camps for adults and kids, some of whom have severe mobility limitations. At the camps, they laugh, swim, celebrate talent shows, and participate in arts and theater workshops. 

My brother is known for his creativity and generosity, always volunteering extra hours to decorate theater sets and helping the campers with their artwork. Families all over the island adore Floyd as one of their own. He travels the countryside visiting the families multiple times a week. I've seen him get up from a restaurant dinner to introduce himself to a family with a child in a wheelchair. I've seen him leave a party to attend a camp participant's funeral. I've accompanied Floyd to the hospital bedside of an ailing Sin Paredes member.

Floyd is an angel to so many people.

Imagine how difficult it is for people in wheelchairs in Puerto Rico. Now imagine what it's like after the hurricanes. With their homes damaged, roads impassable, lack of electricity and so many other hardships it is difficult for everyone, especially those who already had impaired mobility.It is terribly sad that the site where the Sin Paredes camps used to be held was destroyed. But Sin Paredes continues to help these families in whatever ways they can. My brother's plan is to organize parrandas (somewhat like Christmas carols), at hospitals where wheelchair-bound children will be spending the holidays. Floyd has been visiting them with gifts and groceries, even though his own apartment was damaged during the hurricane and he still has no electricity. He also wants to help the families to build wheelchair access ramps that were destroyed in their houses.

Floyd and Sin Paredes will make sure that people with disabilities in Puerto Rico know that they are not forgotten. Sin Paredes receives no compensation for the hours of work that they put into this labor of love. I will personally match any donations that you earmark for Sin Paredes.

If you are looking for a great cause to support during this season for giving, please put Sin Paredes at the top of your list. Together we can help them help those in need in Puerto Rico. 

Please share this update on your social media.  


Posted on December 4, 2017

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Posted on December 4, 2017

An estuaryis a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuariesform an important ecological area, as they are transition zones between rivers, oceans, and the beaches that we so love.

After hurricane Maria, there was lots of damage to the estuary of San Juan Bay. Many fallen trees, mangroves destroyed, and the water quality reduced by increased effluents.      

I am happy to report that we have donated to Estuario.org. Estuario is a wonderful volunteer organization that aims to maintain and restore the environmental health and beauty of the San Juan Bay Estuary, the complex system of beaches, mangroves, lagoons, rivers and bays that stretches from Old San Juan to Loiza. Estuario brings together experts, community residents, and public school students to accomplish four main areas of work:

·     Restoring the recreational areas of the Condado Lagoon

·     Obtaining water desalination plants to produce fresh water for local residents

·     Getting heavy machinery to help unclog storm drains and sewers

·     Assessing water quality of San Juan Bay and surrounding beaches.

We are honored to be able to support this organization. With your support and our own funds, we are able to help Puerto Rico.

Gracias!

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