Photos Released Of A Devastated Puerto Rico -- Here's How You Can Help

Photos Released Of A Devastated Puerto Rico — Here’s How You Can Help

Image via RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images

As Puerto Ricans face devastation, former Presidents unite to raise funds for hurricane victims

In an act of solidarity, unity, and true leadership, all five of the living former Presidents – both Republican and Democrat – have come together to raise funds for those impacted by the three hurricanes to hit the U.S. in the past month. First, Hurricane Harvey crushed Houston and the surrounding areas with record-setting floods. Next, Irma ravaged Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And just last week Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico, as the island struggled to recover from the damage caused by Irma.

The fundraising campaign One America Appeal was launched by former U.S. presidents – Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – earlier this month after Hurricane Harvey and has since been expanded to include those areas impacted by Irma and Maria to its relief efforts.

People sit in their apartment after the window was blown out by the winds of Hurricane Maria. Joe Raedle/Getty

“Now individuals, foundations and institutions making tax deductible donations at OneAmericaAppeal.org may choose to assist all three recovery efforts from Hurricanes Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida and Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — or to direct their donation to a specific recovery effort — using the drop-down menu in the website’s donation section,” the campaign said in a press release.

Family members collect belongings after hurricane force winds destroyed their house in Toa Baja, west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 24, 2017.
Ricardo Arduengo/Getty

Given the extent of the devastation in Puerto Rico – which is a U.S. territory – the need for recovery relief can’t be overstated. Today, The New York Times released the results of a poll which proved nearly half of all Americans don’t know Puerto Ricans are fellow citizens.

A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Toa Alta, west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 24, 2017 following the passage of Hurricane Maria.
Ricardo Arduengo/Getty

“There is horror in the streets,” San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said in a recent interview. People don’t have food, drinking water, or life-saving medications. The elderly and people who are sick can’t get the medical treatment they need. And because most of San Juan is flooded, people are wading through contaminated water to get around.

And while it’s all hands on deck for the five former Presidents who are working to get Puerto Rico the help it needs, the current President was noticeably silent on the situation in Puerto Rico until late Monday night. Even then, the response was, shall we say, less than compassionate.

As Yulín Cruz said in her heart-wrenching plea for assistance, “You see the best in people, but you also see the worst in people.”

According to Vox, Puerto Rico is currently “in the grips of a serious, life-threatening crisis, with humanitarian aid getting in far more slowly than is needed.” One of the greatest threats is the complete loss of power throughout most of the island, and the New York Times estimates that it could be four to six months before power is restored. Four to six months.

A woman prepares food during nightfall outside her house, destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Hector Retamal/Getty

“Make no mistake — this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million U.S. citizens,” Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said in a statement released Monday. “We will need the full support of the U.S. government.”

Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At least ten people have died from the storm so far, but experts predict it could reach hundreds within a matter of days and some fear that hysteria is starting to set in. The situation really is that desperate, and these people need all the help they can get.

Karlian Mercado, 7, rests on the rubble that remains of her family’s home after it was blown away by Hurricane Maria. Joe Raedle/Getty

“Do not forget us,” San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz pleaded. “And do not let us feel alone.”

Visit OneAmericaAppeal.org to donate.

You can also donate here:

UNICEF

United for Puerto Rico

Global Giving