As you know, we started this campaign several weeks ago from New York City, to help the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. My sister, Lauren Rivera is a director at Therapy Solutions Puerto Rico, who with her staff & colleagues, works day and night to resolve the ongoing difficulties concerning electricity, running water, food and quality of life issues for the the autistic population they serve.
On behalf of the team at Therapy Solutions Puerto Rico, I would like to say thank you. We are amazed how quickly the word spread and how people were willing to donate to this worthy cause. We are humbly grateful for your very generous gifts. Your contribution is changing so many lives. Through donations like yours Therapy Solutions will be able to guaranty to deliver therapy to the autism population they serve in Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Maria delivered a devastating blow to all of Puerto Rico. One of the most affected victims were the Special Education students within the Puerto Rico Department of Education.
· 160,000 students are enrolled in Special Education in Puerto Rico.
· The educational regions of San Juan and Mayaguez began classes on October 23rd.
· Ponce and Bayamon will reopen October 30th; the last region to open will be Humacao and Arecibo.
· Many of these children have not been provided services entitled to them through the Department of Education.
The greater time without services will have a meaningful impact in their development. These children need consistent, structured therapy. In the long term, the harm on Puerto Rico will be costly.
Therapy Solutions delivers psychology, speech and language, occupational, physical and aquatic therapies to children with special needs, specifically those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). So far, they were able to start providing services again on October 9th, a few weeks after the hurricane but several weeks before others in the Department of Education.
At the moment, they are being provided temporary offices at an autism school called Gersh International. They are currently getting estimates on the cost of decontaminating their offices. They may have to relocate completely.
We will use the money we raise to alleviate this cost, to either decontaminate their offices or relocate them in to clean and sanitary classrooms, providing food and water on a daily basis, as well as pay for therapeutic services that will not be covered by the Department of Education or insurance. Since their have been issues with the electric grid down there, I will be withdrawing the monies and sending it either by wire or by check down to Lauren to deposit in Therapy Solutions' bank account.
Many of the children come from very humble families, whose homes were destroyed by the storm, and paying out of pocket is not an option. Because of angels like you, the angels that they serve will continue to get the therapeutic services they need.
Words cannot express our gratitude. Please accept our humble "thank you." May God bless you!
All the very best,
Peter Rivera & Karen Reed, on behalf of