Before Puerto Rico could even begin to tackle repairing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, the country was slammed with yet another catastrophic storm: Hurricane Maria. Making landfall on Sept. 20, the Category 4 storm knocked out power across the entire island and caused the Guajataca Dam to fail, leaving millions of Puerto Ricans — our fellow Americans — stranded in life-threatening conditions.
Despite Puerto Rico's utter devastation, the American territory has found it incredibly difficult to secure the US government's attention and the fiscal aid necessary to begin the recovery process. The Puerto Rican governor's pleas for increased federal assistance have so far gone unanswered by President Donald Trump, who spent the past several days consumed with angrily tweeting about the NFL and without so much as a mention of Puerto Rico's suffering.
Though several public figures and all five living former US presidents have pledged donations, it seems our friends in Puerto Rico will desperately need individuals to offer a helping hand so they may begin to rebuild. Consider making a donation to any of the following charitable organizations to assist Puerto Rico and all those affected by Hurricane Maria's destruction.
- UNICEF is providing emergency relief and accepting donations online here.
- Save the Children is on the ground in Puerto Rico assisting children in need. You can make a donation toward its efforts here.
- The first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, created United For Puerto Rico with help from the private sector to support Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. United For Puerto Rico is currently collecting donations on its website.
- The International Medical Corps is a global First Responder group that is currently on the ground in the Caribbean Islands providing vital healthcare services. It's currently accepting online donations here.
- Americares has already airlifted $1.8 million worth of life-saving medicine and healthcare supplies to Puerto Rico. You can donate here to help it continue providing crucial aid.
- The American Red Cross is currently accepting donations online toward Hurricane Maria relief efforts. You can also donate via phone by dialing 1-800-HELP-NOW.
- Virginia-based Catholic Charities of America is asking people to donate by texting CCUSADISASTER to 71777 for Hurricane Maria relief. You can read more about its disaster response efforts here.
- Humane Society International is on the ground providing crucial assistance to animals left in areas impacted by Hurricane Maria. You can donate to help it continue its life-saving work here.