How You Can Help Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Efforts

December 15, 2017

It’s easy to take for granted the things that make our lives a little bit easier – water, electricity, and other conveniences that just make life a little bit easier. And it’s also easy to get annoyed when something disrupts our daily flow, such as a power outage or dropped cell service.However, for many areas in Puerto Rico, this is still the reality today.. except they aren’t just minor annoyances disrupting everyday life. More than 90 days after Hurricane Maria, although Serafina Beach Hotel was fortunate to sustain minimal damage, many other parts of the island outside of San Juan were left in crisis. As of today, many areas of Puerto Rico are still without access to power and certain basic necessities. So how can you help?

Donate to Legitimate Charities

The easiest and most obvious way to help citizens in Puerto Rico right now is by donating money. Find an established charity to donate to, and identify how these charities will make the most of donated money. Want to find out which charities will make the most of every dollar donated? You can check out various charities and how they utilize donations through websites such as The Life You Can Save or GiveWell. You can also verify charities through Charity Navigator or GuideStar to ensure that your money is going to a reputable organization. The United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, Unicef, American Red Cross, Save the Children, and Foundation for Puerto Rico are just a few of the more well-known and reputable charities you can donate to in order to assist in providing hurricane relief.A word of caution when donating money: Unfortunately, during times of crisis, there are opportunists who try to scam money. Always be aware of charities popping up online that you are unfamiliar with, and be wary of phone calls soliciting money. Please be careful to research before donating money to avoid becoming a victim of a scam and to guarantee your money is going towards helping Puerto Rico. This same caution applies to crowdfunding. While websites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe have made it easier than ever for people to start their own initiatives to collect money on behalf of various causes, please be careful to investigate prior to donating your money through one of these crowdsourcing platforms.

Donating Essentials

While donating money is the best thing to donate right now, certain essential items are in demand in Puerto Rico right now. If you would prefer to donate essentials rather than donating money, check your local news and/or social media to find out more about how you can donate. Depending on your state, you may have a designated drop-off area for donated supplies. However, it is important to call first before donating to make sure that items are still being accepted and to find out which items are currently needed most.

Volunteer Efforts

There are more ways to help Puerto Rico that don’t require a monetary donation. While it isn’t currently feasible for many people to get to Puerto Rico to lend help, there are other ways to volunteer to assist with hurricane relief efforts. You can contact any of the aforementioned charities, or find other local charities in your area that are participating in Hurricane Maria relief efforts to find out how you can aid in hurricane relief. This may involve answering phones, collecting donated items, or organizing charity events to raise money on behalf of Hurricane Maria victims.Right now, Puerto Rico needs help as the citizens strive to rebuild their lives and regain access to basic needs. No amount of money is too small and no amount of time volunteering is ever wasted.