Help bring aid to Puerto Rico

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a friend of mine traveled to Puerto Rico to help out his family and friends. He shared his story and photos on Facebook. I was moved to start a GoFundMe to help him travel back to Puerto Rico to take more aid to the people of Puerto Rico. He has told me that there is no way to really access or use money there and what they mostly need are supplies. Since most of us are not famailar with what items they need or what things Miguel will be able to carry on a plane, I felt like raising some money for him to use to buy a plane ticket and supplies was the best way for us to help.Here is an outline of some possible costs:Flight costs $500
Baggage fees to take multiple bags $200-$300
MRE (Pre-packaged foods) $250 for 24 meals
Life straws (water filteration) $100 for 5 straws
Medical supplies 

I shared Miguel's story below: (I did edit slightly for clarity)

"I have lived in United States for almost 21 years. I grew up in Puerto Rico an moved to Orlando when I was 20. I missed many life events that I lost the count over the years. I missed Weddings, "navidades", birthdays, deaths, "tapones", family reunions, etc... its not easy. But the fellings and tears I developed in this trip are unreal. I have no words to describe it. Hurricane Maria destroyed the Island in many ways. Countless deaths during the storm, dialysis patients without treatment for days, flooding, starvation, no water. Many don't know that comunications are less than 25% in the whole island. Some towns still have no access due to fallen trees, electric wires, etc... Flooded roads, destroyed phone lines cut the island’s lifeline of goods from the mainland. That is the top news here if your lucky enough to have a working radio.

Most of the island hospitals have no power. There is a significant amount of  people who died in hospitals and nursing homes that it will take almost 6months to process them. Some towns would not have electricity until 2018. 

I’m sitting at the airport listening to real stories from real people about what is happening in their towns. A lady from Arecibo claims that a gang took over one of the few gas stations in her town with available gas and supplies. Cops didn't do anything about it since the gang is heavily armed and they already murdered the owner just to prove a point. Another gas station was occupied by the local government agencies and no public is allowed there. Residents had to drive or walk miles to find a working gas station. Some, to find out that the line is so long that there is almost a 2 day wait, and they may not have gas by the time it your turn.

Especially yesterday but in the past few days my plan was to get as many supplies and gasoline for my family to leave them stocked for 2 weeks.  I did a 8mile line at Costco from 5am till almost 6pm. Only 2 boxes of bottled water per person and they where running really low. Other supplies where rationed to a limited quantity too.
No gas containers can be found anywhere. I was lucky enough to find a couple. It was a miracle. They only let me me get a 5gal and 2.5gal for $60 and by the way, they where empty... 

A few more lines at hardware stores and small bodegas to find tools to fix the damages in our house took the rest of my day and returning home way passed the curfew.

It's devastating leaving my family behind, for now. Hopefully I'll be reunited with them in a few weeks in the mainland. I'll never going to forget my walk through TSA today. Thousands of people saying good bye to their love ones. Fathers, sending their families away from the "Isla" and staying behind to secure back home what they work hard all their life. Some families leaving with nothing. Just what they are carrying on. I can say that 95% percent of the people where crying, including myself. But, at the same time there is bit of relief and peace that everyone is going to a safer place."

Please consider donating to help these people directly. Any amount will help. Additionally Miguel is located in Auburn, AL and there are two locations accepting item donations in the Atlanta area. 

Buen Provecho, 2468 Windy Hill Road, Marietta. [phone redacted],
Porch Light Latin Kitchen, 300 Village Green Circle SE, Smyrna. [phone redacted],


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Organizer and beneficiary

Kelly Schenck Johnson 
Smyrna, GA
Miguel Figueroa 
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