Over the last few days it has been absolutely heartbreaking to see the widespread devastation to the island of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Local officials have described the current scene as apocalyptic. It is nearly impossible to leave the island, little aid is coming in, most residents are without power and water, there is extremely limited communication, and basic needs such as water and gasoline are being rationed.
Please don't forget about the people of Puerto Rico. And please continue to pray. The island is far away and so often overlooked, but is home to 3.5 million Americans who pay taxes and serve in the U.S. Military, and every single one of them has been affected. Among these are families who welcomed us into their homes and churches, high school students who shared their lives with us, and people who have become lifelong friends. If you would like to donate towards the relief and long-term rebuilding, here are a few ways to do so.
Young Life Puerto Rico began in San Juan almost ten years ago, and has spread to several different cities across the island, including Young Lives (a ministry for teen moms) and Vida Joven (Spanish speaking public school ministry). The funds raised will go towards assisting the many staff members and families whose homes and possessions have been completely destroyed, help local ministries experiencing a decrease in local support, and providing campership support for kids who no cannot afford to attend camp. In order to designate these funds please click on "In Honor" button and write in Puerto Rico.
In partnership with Agape Flights, Tender Mercies, and Water Step; Love the Nations has been packing up planes in Tampa, Florida with food and supplies to send to the island. They have boots on the ground distributing and caring for Puerto Ricans in need. The supplies they are sending include chainsaws, generators, gas containers, water filtration systems, as well as meals and other resources. Additionally, on September 28th they will be transporting enough meals to feed 60,000. To donate to these organizations, follow the link to their GoFundMe page.
Hogar Mis Primeros Pasos is a home for children who have been removed from their families due to severe abuse and neglect. During the hurricane, part of their roof was blown off and are trapped in the small one bedroom house with water surrounding them like a moat. They are without electricity and running low on drinking water in their cistern. Consider donating online via PayPal to help with relief supplies as well as long term costs of rebuilding.
Our good friends Mike and Vicky Basile live in Dorado, Puerto Rico with their 6 month old twin girls. They are wonderful people and very connected within the community. They will be working with faith communities and trusted leaders in the town to make sure all donations are directed towards rebuilding efforts for those in desperate need.
Trinity Church has been, and will continue to distribute food, water, and supplies across the island. They are serving families within the community who are in desperate need and have yet to receive government assistance. Please consider donating to the church we called home during our time on the island via the PayPal link provided.
The church will be serving as a distribution hub for supplies and aid as well as providing housing for short term relief teams. Members are already on the ground in Puerto Rico rebuilding and serving the community, as well as organizing large container shipments of supplies from the mainland.
Use the link, or text PRHELP with amount to (787)416-0776 to donate towards Mar Azul's relief efforts. The church has a very close relationship with Young Life Puerto Rico and is raising money to provide hurricane aid and relief to the large community they serve.
You can make tax-exempt donations through PayPal to Iglesia La Travesia in San Juan led by Pastor Ronnie Garcia. Donations will go towards hurricane relief efforts in the community in which they live and serve.
Second Union Church has set up a fund for aid to victims in the link provided. You may also send items, once postal services resume, to Second Union Church for distribution. Most needed items: small inverter generators, battery powered fans, diapers, formula, canned food, new clothes, water, first aid, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, OTC medications, garbage bags, towels (please no used clothes). Second Union Church • Urb Alto Apolo • 2109 Mileto St • Guaynabo, PR • 00969
United for Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth by the First lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María. In addition to donating directly online, you can also donate to this cause through the crowdfunding page Students with Puerto Rico, 100% of proceeds goes toward Unidos Por Puerto Rico.
ConPRmetidos, in partnership with Foundation for Puerto Rico, exists to connect people in order to foster commitment with the personal, social, and economic development of Puerto Rican communities, wherever they are. 100% of donations to this fund will go exclusively to long-term relief for the victims of catastrophic Hurricane María in Puerto Rico.
Dallas Mavericks player J.J. Barea, a native Puerto Rican, is organizing relief flights between the mainland and Puerto Rico using the team plane to bring food, water, and other necessities to the island. All donations will go towards immediate relief efforts, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding.
Thanks for your support,
Morgan & Austin