Light Up Puerto Rico

For: Families in Puerto Rico
San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Organizer: Jarem
of $450,000 goal
96% Complete
Raised by 664 donors

The Story

****UPDATE****  We are thrilled to have the support of the Governor's Office in the State of Utah.  Their endorsement will help make a huge difference in our next wave of relief efforts for the people of Puerto Rico.  A delegation of 40 volunteers from the Governor's Office and Light Up Puerto Rico will be in Puerto Rico from November 15-20th to deliver more supplies and continue helping with clean up efforts.  Each volunteer will be taking suitcases filled with solar-powered lights and other supplies purchased with your donation money through our partnership with Tifie Humanitarian.  The supplies will be hand delivered to people in need throughout the rural parts of Puerto Rico. It has been over a month since Hurricane Maria hit and over 70% of Puerto Rico is still without power!


(a letter from LUPR's leader)

Dear Friends,

My name is Jorge Alvarado and together with my wife Cari Lu and our partners at Tifie Humanitarian we are leading an effort to Light Up Puerto Rico.  

Puerto Rico is our home. We grew up there. We met there. We raised our family there. We moved to Salt Lake City, Utah for a work assignment 1 year ago but are planning to move back to Puerto Rico. The devastation from Hurricane Maria has been well-documented, but it hits home for us in a way I can’t express in words.  

I was an executive with Franklin Covey in Puerto Rico and served for 20 years in civic and church volunteer leadership capacities. I know my people and my island intimately. Like we say, soy Boricua de pura sepa.

Cari Lu and I have partnered with Tifie Humanitarian which is run by the talented and experienced Robert Workman. Together with several hundred of our friends who were also church missionaries we are launching a plan to bring light and shelter to a devastated, but resilient people. These are our families and our friends and our neighbors. They need our help and I’m dedicating myself to this effort. Will you help us? 

Here is our plan:

  • The focus of the effort is light and shelter. Our initial fundraise is for 75 tent shelters, 75 solar-powered generators, 225 solar panels, and 1000 solar-powered lights that will be delivered to San Juan. These products will enable people to run refrigerators 24 hours a day, recharge electronics, power small appliances, run lighting fixtures, and have a temporary shelter while rebuilding their homes and their lives. Through our partnership with Tifie (which is a 501c3 charity --- EIN 20-8360616) these materials are all being secured at manufacturer’s costs so your contributions are being used effectively and efficiently.
  • We have already received a generous donation to transport all of the supplies via cargo ferry and plane which will be delivered by October 30th.
  • We have developed a network of local leaders that will help distribute the product once it gets to San Juan. The product distribution will be focused in the more rural parts of the island where power will take the longest to be restored. The product will be distributed and shared with those in need, regardless of their religious affiliations or ethnicity.
  • Cari Lu and I will be going down in person to oversee the entire distribution process which we anticipate to take about 5-8 days once in Puerto Rico. Our home in Bayamon (suburb of San Juan) will serve as the central command center.
  • I am selecting and working with trusted individuals in Puerto Rico for the distribution process. These are individuals that I’ve worked with during my 20 year professional career and public service. My commitment is that this operation will be managed efficiently and effectively.
  • 100% of your contributions will go to buying product. There is no overhead at Tifie Humanitarian. All efforts with Light Up Puerto Rico are from volunteers. 

Here is how you can help:

  • Contribute directly to our fundraising website at or for larger contributions of $5,000+ you can contribute directly to Tifie Humanitarian. Email [email protected] for instructions on how to donate directly to Tifie (you’ll receive donation confirmation and receipt for your tax write off)
  • Consider sharing our message with others that want to support and reach out to corporations who are looking for an effective and efficient way to use humanitarian funds.

We know this will be a long, arduous rebuilding process in Puerto Rico. But I know my people and I know they will respond with determination and hope for bright future to come. You can help us get them started on the rebuilding path with the light and shelter they need.   

Abrazos amorosos,

Jorge Alvarado

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 28, 2017


Posted on November 28, 2017

Today is Giving Tuesday and we thought it would be the perfect day to update you on what has been given, thanks to your support, and where the needs are greatest in Puerto Rico. 

45 Light Up Puerto Rico volunteers returned from Puerto Rico last week with both full and heavy hearts. The need in Puerto Rico is immense. It’s been two months and most people still do not have power, and even worse, clean drinking water. Homes have been damaged beyond repair. Families are sleeping on wet mattresses and beginning to deal with mold growth inside their homes. 

The group of volunteers spent 5 days working in various parts of the island.  They worked tirelessly for 12-15 hours a day in very tough conditions distributing solar products, tent shelters, water filtration systems, food, and other critical items.  

The response was incredibly touching.  The Puerto Rican people are as humble as they are resilient.  Many people turned down the supplies we offered them in order for their neighbors, who they felt had greater need, to receive them.  Hundreds of families were helped each day.  This effort --- your effort --- has made a tremendous impact.  

We thank you all for supporting families and individuals in Puerto Rico.  We also thank all the great partners that made this effort possible.  To Wings of Hope for Puerto Rico for enabling the delivery of all the product through the port and its safe keeping in a warehouse.  To Utah Cares for Puerto Rico and Vivint for allowing us to participate in handing out the over 100 pallets of supplies the collecting and shipped.  To Black Flag Search and Rescue for helping us identify families and areas of most need.  And to Robert Workman, Halen Seevinck, and Mindy Burton at Tifie Humanitarian for taking on this cause and making it as personal to them as it is to us (even though they didn't originally have ties to Puerto Rico).

In the next several weeks we will be sending out a more detailed report to all of the donors of this great effort.  Make sure you are following our Facebook Page Light Up Puerto Rico for all of the news coverage and updates that we regularly post. 

We are continuing our fundraising efforts to help them rebuild and ask that you consider donating to further our aid and share our efforts with others throughout the holiday season.

Posted on October 30, 2017


Posted on October 30, 2017

Over the past 3 weeks, over 15 volunteers from Light Up Puerto Rico have been on the island distributing supplies and helping people with clean up efforts.  Each volunteer that has made the trip has said the same thing upon return ---- " That was an incredible experience. Life changing. Gratifying. Devastating. Hard. Rewarding."

Go to our Facebook Page to see the emotional stories, pictures, and videos of what your generous donations have done to improve the lives of Los Boricuas.

October 30th starts our "WAVE 2" of relief efforts.  With the partnership and endorsement of the Governor Herbert and Lieutenant Governor Cox, we are trying to raise another $150k that will be used to purchase more supplies through our partnership with Tifie Humanitarian.  The supplies will be taken by plane to Puerto Rico along with a delegation of 40 volunteers from Nov 15-20th.  Supplies will be hand delivered to people in need throughout rural parts of the island.

Let's continue to Light Up Puerto Rico

Posted on October 7, 2017


Posted on October 7, 2017

What a phenomenal week of progress toward Lighting Up Puerto Rico --- THANK YOU!

A large in-kind donation of 20 solar generators and solar panels was made by the generous team at New Star Solar (thanks Brad Creer!).  This was $50k in product at their cost with a retail value of over $100k.

Donations continue to roll in on this site and to Tifie directly.  Please continue to share with others.

All of the solar product and tent shelters that have been ordered are in transit to a warehouse in Miami.  Because of the increased volume of supplies (we now have 40k pounds of product!!!), everything is now being shipped by boat to Puerto Rico instead of plane --- that is a good thing!

Our first two volunteers land in Puerto Rico on October 11th for ground logistics coordination and surveying the areas where tents and solar product will be sent (reminder that we are focusing on the rural parts of the island where power will take the longest to return).  We'll be posting video and photos of their trip.

All of the product being shipped will make landfall in San Juan on October 19-20th and distribution will start immediately.  Our second group of 10 volunteers will be arriving in Puerto Rico on Oct 18-19 and teaming up with our local Puerto Rican friends for the distribution.  Lots of video and photos to come.

We still need to raise about $75k to cover this initial order of product that is being sent down.  Our partners have been incredibly generous in letting us move forward with faith that the money will come while shipping out this product in advance of receiving payment.  People need this shelter and light now!

Thanks for your generosity to this point.  Here are some additional ways you can help:

1.  share this page with your friends and family and tell them why you were moved to contribute

2.  consider some additional way to raise funds and donate --- have your kids do a bake sale, have a neighborhood garage sale, sell a piece of furniture that has been sitting in your garge

3.  talk with your employer about making a contribution.  many companies have funds set aside for humanitarian work but don't know which organization can effectively put their money to work.  We are happy to talk with any corporations that can contribute, email [email protected] to coordinate

Mil gracias por lo que estan haciendo.  Abrazos a todos y pa'lante vamos!

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