Help for Puerto Rico #WarriorAngels

$106,655 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 403 people in 18 months
Friends, my name is Valerie Edmondson Bolanos and I am a native Puerto Rican living near Los Angeles CA.   After Hurricane Maria carved its way across Puerto Rico, my homeland, I was gutted.  We have received first hand accounts of people desperate for relief:  pregnant mothers, mothers who delivered their babies during the hurricane and have had no medical attention for 10+ days, elderly family members living in nursing homes with no water, power, hospitalized cancer patients that cannot get the treatment they need, and many, many more heartbreaking stories.

The state and federal response to this catastrophe has been too slow to help those people who are most vulnerable and need immediate aid.  So we jumped into action, have quickly organized a group of friends and volunteers and we're calling ourselves Warrior Angels Rescue (look for our group on Facebook, #WarriorAngelsRescue).

To date, Warrior Angels Rescue has procured 1 to 3 flights per day that fly into Puerto Rico filled with emergency supplies, medical personnel and volunteers, and return to the mainland filled with evacuees including expectant mothers, medically fragile adults, and the elderly. 

We have been working closely with charter flight companies to provide evacuation flights to these desperate individuals.  And while companies have generously offered to provide the flights at cost, the flights are still expensive.  We are actively looking to partner with donors wherever possible, asking those who can pay for a flight to do so, and also raising funds through this GoFundMe page.

You can get involved by:
1.  Donating to this GoFundMe campaign
2.  Volunteering:  our volunteers coordinate logistics on the ground in Puerto Rico (including transportation to the airports), and help meet the needs of our evacuees in Florida, New York, New Jersey, California (and anywehre else we have volunteers).  

Please do whatever you can to help!
Thank you!

P.S.  GoFundMe has requested more detail around how funds raised will be used:  We have opened a separate bank account to manage these funds and will pay the charter companies out of that account. Any additional funds that are not used for rescue and evacuation efforts will be donated to San Jorge Childrens Foundation. (However, right now we dont have enough to cover the flights that are going out daily so please help!)
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I want to share the story of just one of the dozens of families we were able to help thanks to your overwhelming generosity after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

Patricia & Natalia are two sweet, brave girls who have been bedridden since birth, as a result of microcephaly, epilepsy, and other medical conditions. They’ve always been cared for by their incredibly strong and devoted mom, Janisse, who advocated for them tirelessly after #HurricaneMaria hit #PuertoRico in September. Their house lost electricity and water, which the sisters require to survive. Even the hospitals on the island couldn’t provide basic services (like power) needed to keep their oxygen machines running, and their environment temperature-controlled to keep the ulcers and bedsores at bay.

This is a news story about the girls' struggle before we evacuated them: http://www.ny1.com/stories/2017/10/11/s/sisters_in_puerto_ri/

On October 19th, we evacuated the family on one of our humanitarian flights, thanks to the amazing Danna Camacho who helped Janisse connect with us and coordinate their complicated transport from Puerto Rico all the way to South Carolina. Now that their hometown of #Ponce has power and water restored, they are ready and eager to return back home to the island that they love. There, Janisse has the family support she needs to care for the girls round the clock.

Warrior Angels Rescue and Rosana Elena Guernica are joining forces again to help this family, and others, who are ready to return home after having been medically evacuated from the island. Some families are able to fly commercial, and we are helping those families return home with discount airfare or donated airline miles. Other families require special accommodations for travel and cannot fly commercial, and we are helping to arrange chartered flights or downline cruise transports for them as needed.

If you can help us help these families—by spreading the word, or by donating $5 or $500, every little bit truly helps. Please share, repost, or donate here:

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Largest evacuation to date.
Friends, we are thrilled to announce that with the support of the Hispanic Federation and Greater New York Hospital Association, we were able to evacuate 120 people with critical medical needs. This flight also delivered supplies including donated water filters from Lifestaw. Check out videos on the Warrior Angels Rescue Facebook page to see the impact this work is having!
However, there are thousands more who need our help and we cannot do these missions without financial support. Please share www.gofundme.com/EvacuatePR with your personal networks so we can continue to help people get the care they need.
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We've had many SUCCESS STORIES so far, and we need more help so that we can create more! I'd like to share more detail about what we've been able to accomplish, thanks to YOUR GENEROSITY.

09/28 FLIGHT Isla Grande to Naples. $18,462
• 6 seats
• five-year-old little girl in need of dialysis
• mom with son David (3) & baby girl Anabella (10 mo)
• sister (14) and brother (4) flying to aunt & uncle
• incoming cargo hold:
• generator for 3-year-old girl needing chemotherapy

09/28 FLIGHT Isla Grande to Fort Lauderdale. $38,154
• 13 seats
• pregnant mama (38-wks) Lola & son (now in labor!)
• caregiver/nanny Paola plus 2 dogs
• disabled Purple Heart veteran, Eliezer (70)
• photojournalist & son of Utuado victim, Gary {donor}
• elderly abuelita (96) & her daughter (63) {donors}
• rescue volunteer, Andrew DellaPietra {paid by me}
• my cousin, Evelyn Abreu {seat paid by me}
• my aunt Titita {seat paid by me}
• my nephews Leonardo (13) & Pablito (9) {paid by me}
• incoming cargo hold: water delivered by Lyft driver!

09/30 FLIGHT Isla Grande to Miami. $41,741
• 19 seats
• daughter/niece/granddaughter, Laura (age 30)
• severely disabled/paraplegic uncle, Luis
• bedridden/disabled abuelita, Maria Isabel
• disabled mom, Marissa
• patient with epilepsy & family member
• incoming cargo hold: 2 generators, donations
• others requesting medical privacy

10/01 FLIGHT Isla Grande to New York. $41,741
• 19 seats
• newborn baby born at home during Irma , Thiago
• mom & dad of newborn, Mia & Jose
• 7-year-old son and parents
• other requesting medical privacy

09/27 FLIGHT Isla Grande to Miami. $2,540
• 2 seats on partner charter
• diabetic patient needing insulin & her family member

These are just a handful of flights we've chartered so far. We want you to stay informed about our efforts and promote complete transparency. Because the donations come in more slowly than the urgency to get these passengers off the island, and because GoFundMe froze our accounts early on, I loaned the money from our personal account (borrowed against our house), with the hope and the promise that enough donations would come in to cover our expenses. Now that we've recovered enough funds to reimburse ourselves for the flights listed above, I will be withdrawing some of the donated funds to a separate personal bank account we set up specifically for Warrior Angels Rescue (BOA). As donations roll in moving forward, and we're so grateful to you that they continue to, I will withdraw money from these funds and pay additional charter companies directly from this account. The charter companies charge me, and I pay the charter company from this account to send more planes to Puerto Rico. Thank you for allowing us to plan more flights, and for saving as many lives as you have.

We will send more updates about the additional flights we have already chartered, in the coming days!

Valerie Edmondson Bolanos
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Thanks to you, more people are safe in Miami.
Yesterday we were able to rescue the following people:
- a 101 year old female
- woman with stage 4 cancer
-2 elderly individuals with Alzheimer's as well as heart and prostate cancer
- a 9 year old with hydrocephalus and autism
- a couple with heart issues
- the father of one of our first evacuees who was in early labor will now be reunited with his daughter and grandchild

The requests for help keep coming. Please share this page and encourage your friends and family to donate. Thank you for the love you are sharing with the people of Puerto Rico. This work is saving lives.
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$106,655 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 403 people in 18 months
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