(Phase I and Phase II)
PROJECT SUMMARY: The Rotary Club of Arecibo is collaborating with Rotary Clubs to provide solar-powered lamp/ flashlight / cell phone chargers, with a USB port to vulnerable populations, such as elderly, disabled veterans, and widows living alone; and also to community service leaders and non-profit institutions that serve the community (such as nursing homes, youth centers, orphanages/foster homes, Veterans organizations, etc.), and to senior fellow Rotarians.
On behalf of all of those that will be receiving this gift of light, thank you!
Any donation helps. For $10 you help 1 household. For $100, you can provide 10 light/chargers to help people be safer and secure, and with peace of mind. Also, it is a practical environmentally -friendly tool that can be used in the future, once electricity is restored.
The Rotary Club of Washington, D.C, provided the seed money ($5,000) for Phase I of the project, which has been completed. Phase II of the project was launched on November 1, 2017. The Rotary Club of New London, Connecticut donated $1,000 for a second order for lights on Nov. 3rd; a third order was placed on Nov 30th with donations by friends thru the gofundme site, and rotary clubs; and we aim for a fourth order by January 4, 2018.
Why this project?
We looked for a project of quick great impact that would complement first responders and disaster relief efforts. When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, 95% of the Island lost electricity, water and ITC (cell phone, Internet) services. There was a fuel and supplies shortage, including batteries.
Fully-restoring electrical power might take as long as 6 months in some areas because of the difficult terrain; and getting all of the resources needed. In rural communities, this means total darkness and difficulties in communicating, which creates health, safety and security issues.
We were also concerned about the high number of people considered a vulnerable population in a medical disaster. Those became the target of this project
As it is, daily life is difficult for elderly, and disabled with little mobility. Besides basic needs as food and water, people need electrical light to read well and take their medications, take care of themselves and often take care of others, ensure proper hygiene, go to the bathroom safely, charge their phones and to coordinate support and help. Life has become harder for families in rural areas for tasks as cooking and cleaning. These lights make it easier, and provide some peace of mind and a sense of security, plus reduce the expense and waste of batteries being used on a long term basis, and the negative impact on the environment.
PHASE I: The first 100 lights
The Rotary Club of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. (RCDC) created a project that provided a solar-powered 3-in-1 lamp/ flashlight / cell phone charger to vulnerable populations.
RCDC quickly allocated funds ($5,000) from their fundraiser event DUCK RACE, which expedited the process to procure the lights and deliver them within a few weeks after the hurricane.
See: Project LIGHT FOR PUERTO RICO (Phase I)
Lights donated by Rotary Club of Washington DC distributed by State Officials and the Rotary Club of Arecibo in Utuado on October 16, 2017
The Hon. Ricardo Rosello, Governor of Puerto Rico, facilitated some of our distribution efforts in Utuado and later in Naguabo through appointed State officials.
Lights donated by Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. and distributed by the Rotary Club of Arecibo in their community from October 16-October 20th
PHASE II: The Need In distributing the first 100 lamps, we came across many disabled and elderly that could not technically operate or afford fuel-powered generators. They were using battery-operated lights that ran out too quickly (and they could not buy more batteries for lack of resources or supplies shortage; not to mention the impact on the environment). Some were using candles, a fire hazard, and also too dim to read, or get around simple tasks. Meanwhile, many families had fuel-powered generators; but for some families that lost their belongings, they can not afford the added cost of purchasing or running one. Also, there are areas where the electricity is restored but is not a consistent service yet, since the electrical system is constantly being repaired.
PHASE II: The Goal
We provided flashlights/lamps with super-bright LED and a USB port for charging mobile devices. For Phase II, we are providing a lighter model; weights 4.5 oz.
with a fully waterproof enclosure of its USB port for charging phones or tablets, a Micro USB port for rapid charging the flashlight, or use any light source to keep to charge the light. It shines for up to 25 hours on low beam and 7 hours on high beam (and batteries work for 7 years).
Light Manual-How to use it
Our Phase 2 goal is to first raise $50,000 to purchase and distribute 5,000 free light/chargers to elderly and disabled, particularly in rural areas. We hope to grow the project to provide small back-up solar powered generators for medical equipment or refridgerate medicine.
The Rotary Club of Arecibo launched Phase II on November 1, 2017 amidst blackout
PHASE II - How are we doing this?
with your help and the help of Rotary clubs
Project Fiscal Agent: Friends in the Rotary Club of Middleport-Pomeroy, Ohio, agreed to serve as the project fiscal agent for Phase II and set up a project bank account for donations that would enable us to provide these lights as soon as possible.
The "small but mighty" Rotary Club of Pomeroy-Middleport also donated a seed $500 as they launched a media campaign in the area to raise more funds.
Friends, Rotarians and other clubs are joining...
Rotary Club of Weston, WEST VIRGINIA among the first to join the effort.
My name is Carolee Montanez-Allman. I grew up in Puerto Rico and visit the Island regularly. My mom, brothers and their families, and aunts and cousins still live there. As a Rotarian, I reached out to the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. and together we launched a project to provide 100 solar-powered lights to vulnerable populations in Puerto Rico.
I personally traveled to Puerto Rico to deliver the first 100 lights. With members of the Arecibo Rotary Club, (some who still do not have water or electricity) we distributed lights to widows, elderly, disabled, families that lost their belongings, and institutions that serve the community (i.e. orphanages, youth centers, nursing homes, single-mothers homes, veterans organizations, etc.). We also reached out to first responders, regional family and housing officials, and other agencies that were able to assist in the distribution.
On November1st, the Arecibo Rotary Club launched Phase II. We are expanding the project with support of Rotary Clubs in Puerto Rico, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, and Connecticut. We hope other clubs in the U.S. and around the world join us.
Thank you to all of you that helped one way or another in launching this project and keep it running, at times amidst very difficult circumstances. It has made a difference for the best in some many lives and the work has been truly worth it.
DonationsSee top donations
- Carolee Montanez-Allman
- Martin Iguina Mora
- Ivis Gonzalez
- Whadzen Denton
- Ada Jove
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