I've had so many generous Americans reach out to me in recent days asking what they could do to help with the recovery of Puerto Rico. Therefore, I've decided to set up a Go Fund Me account.
My brother in St. Louis, Missouri set up a non-profit company, Para Puerto Rico. We are going to collect what we can and distribute 100% of the funds to the people and organizations in Puerto Rico who need it the most.
No money will go to me or my friends or family. There will be no employees of the company. Everything is done on a volunteer basis.
We formed the non-profit corporation on October 6, and the same day we applied for tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. Although there is no guarantee that our application will be approved, if we are granted tax exempt status, all donations from the start of this gofundme will be tax deductible.
I've lived in Puerto Rico for 13 year now. I have two fully bilingual sons. I understand culture and know the communities around San Juan well.
What I've noticed is that the recovery effort is so massive that's it's really hard for the aid to get into the neighborhoods where people need it the most. I want to focus primarily on the elderly, children, public schools, and people in desperate need of medical supplies.
Here's some of the ideas I have:
1. I want to work with local churches in the neighborhoods to distribute essential supplies, such as food, water, canned goods, batteries, etc.
2. I would like to help the local parks and public schools so that the children's lives return to normalcy. I want children going back to school, playing sports, etc.
3. They are people in desperate need of medical supplies. For instance, there's a shortage of insulin and medicines that are essential to some people's health.
4. This fund will go where the people who you it want to take it. I will facilitate it, but I'm open to all suggestions. Therefore, if you would like your money to go to a specific charitable purpose I willing to work with you.
Thanks for all of your support. You don't realize the number of people that have reached to me and asked how they can help. America is full of so many generous people. Please help us to rebuild Puerto Rico!
As Chris' story indicates, we have formed a non-profit corporation in Missouri that will be the beneficiary of the funds raised here. This non-profit corporation does not have any paid employees - it is all volunteer. The non-profit is limited by its Articles of Incorporation and its by-laws to distributing its funds to assist people whose lives have been adversely impacted from hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico.
Currently, the most urgent need that is quickly and easily addressed is the lack of water. Accordingly, all of the donations raised will be used to purchase water for delivery to primarily rural areas that have no access to clean drinking water. One particular focus is on low-income elderly residents, who are particularly hard hit because they are unable to easily obtain clean drinking water on their own.
Chris is working with a network of other like-minded volunteers to purchase drinking water in bulk and deliver it where it is needed the most.
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