The purpose of this fundraiser is to
1. Charter a plane to transport elders and disabled people from Puerto Rico to stateside, where they have family and friends
2. To coordinate, guide and support these individuals and their families stateside to ensure they are not left without community and social services.
The people we assist fall into a gray area, a chasm, where no evacuation exists. Why? Well, they do not have emergency health conditions warranting air ambulance, but their health has been seriously affected since hurricane Maria's landfall. They, their families, advocates and medical professionals have determined evacuation is necessary. But, there is a problem: They cannot use typical private humanitarian flights because they cannot sit unassisted, communicate in typical ways, or need direct assistance to manage behavior.
1. We will fill a plane with supplies for people with disabilities, and deliver them to organizations we have come to trust and love. These advocacy and service organizations are made up of, by, and for elders, disabled people and their families. One organization is specifically geared toward disabled children (APNI), the other toward disabled adults (DPI).
2. On the return flight, we will bring the elders and disabled people who fall into that category as described above.
3. We will coordinate and guide, as needed, in Puerto Rico prior to the flight
4. We will coordinate and guide, as needed, medical admission and transport stateside
5. We will coordinate, guide and refer to disaster relief, social, family, and community services stateside
6. We will step out of the process when 1-5 are in place
How did this start? For over a month, we have been assisting a man in Puerto Rico; JB. Prior to the hurricane, JB lived at home. A personal care assistant (pca) came to his home daily, and with his PCA's support, JB spent his days doing things like visiting with neighbors, making coffee, and flirting.. just like anyone.
Following Hurricane Maria, JB was in his home with his elderly parents. Due to their age, and their own health conditions, JB's parents are physically unable help in the way his PCA did. This, combined with no electricity, no running water, no medical care, and no passable roads, resulted in JB becoming quite ill.
Since we were first contacted about JB, we have worked every day to secure the support he needs. JB has been admitted to a hospital in San Juan. However, this hospital cannot provide all he needs to return to health. Even if somehow, magically, the medical support existed to restore JB's health, the family home remains with no running water, no electricity, no regular access to food, and no working generator. Additionally, the social and community support needed for JB simply does not exist at this time in Puerto Rico.
With the guidance of medical, civil rights, and social service professionals, JB's family has determined evacuation is necessary at this time. To that end, we have been organizing for JB's transport and ongoing care in New York City, coordinating all along with family, hospitals, insurance, social, and community services.
Since we started this, more people like JB have been brought to our attention. We hope to include others on this flight, and to support them as noted above.
Now we need to finish paying for a plane...That's where YOU come in. We ask you to donate to this fund. Donations will be used to complete this mission for JB and as described in 1-6 above. If we exceed our funding goal, or if JB's status changes, we will use funds to provide support to elderly and disabled people as described in 1-6 above. Donations go to ACTA, a 501c3 organization, earmarked for this purpose. Thank you!