Get Pancha Power in Puerto Rico

So far – with the little communication we’ve received from Puerto Rico – most family and friends are currently safe, but we haven’t heard from everyone. Additionally, my Aunt has lost her entire home; my cousin’s (her daughter’s) home has been half-destroyed; and my grandma has lost the roof to her home and has no running water. On top of that, the entire island has no power with very limited cell service and it will be months until it is restored. 

Unlike other recent hurricanes, this is happening in a place that was already on the edge of an economic collapse—the power company itself is $9 billion in debt before all of their infrastructure was destroyed.  All this is happening to my mom’s family (who are too stubborn and too proud to ask for money) so I’m asking for them. They are some of the most resilient and resourceful people I’ve ever met, and we are all pulling together in their time of need.

With all that, let me tell you a little about my grandma, the badass.

This house-coat wearing, machete-wielding, church-going, tarantula-stomping lady, who I call Mama Pancha, is the matriarch of our family. She cooks every meal for an army and feeds all of her less fortunate neighbors right out of her kitchen (she also did this professionally as a school lunch lady until she retired). She prays the rosary every night and is fearless. I’ve heard unbelievable stories about her: like the time she chased away a family member’s abusive husband with a baseball bat, and grabs pans out of the oven with her bare hands (saw this one with my own eyes). She helps everyone around her, and any money we can raise for her will improve the state of the entire community. She has always shared what little she has to make sure her neighbors have something to eat, and I’m sure she is doing the same now.

This fund is to help raise enough money to buy simple things, like food, new beds, a new roof and replace what has been destroyed. This fund might also be able to go beyond that and help get them dependable power after they rebuild. I’ve estimated it will take $13,000 on top of the cost to rebuild what was already destroyed to get my grandma reliable power. The lady deserves a fan, a refrigerator and some telenovelas. Besides, I build stuff for a living, so this isn’t just a guess. It’s practically science!

 You can’t control the weather and you can’t control that the FEMA budget has already been depleted for 2017 because of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but you can help get some aid to people that I’m sure will pay it forward and help those around them affected by Hurricane Maria.

Please help with what you can and I’m sure you’ll gain some prayers in your direction from some grateful abuelas if you are able to donate.

Thanks, Stacey and Melanie


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Stacey Carbone 
Washington D.C., DC
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