Helping Puerto Rico Rise

$15,300 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 177 people in 11 months
Our Calling:
After Hurricane Maria devistated our beautiful island, we had an inner calling to help.   Puerto Rico is in need of many supplies, yet it is difficult to get these supplies to the people.  There are back ups with the ships and ports.  Once on the island, there is a shortage of truck drivers to get the supplies to the people.  Once the trucks have arrived to a town, there is a shortage of gas for people to get to the distribution locations.

Organizations in support of helping Puerto Rico currently prefer monetary donations over actual supplies.  But with this, comes a feeling of lost control.  Where is my money going?  What is it being used for?  What will be done if they have excess money?  We felt the need to do more.  

Our Plan:
We are collecting money via GoFundMe that will be used in Puerto Rico to buy supplies and be personally delivered to neighborhoods.  

After the campaign, brothers Jorge and Pepa Ralat along with Jeff Ptak will fly to Puerto Rico, on their own expense, and buy the supplies from a distribution center - supplies such as food, water, batteries, clothing, baby needs, etc. They plan to personally drive the supplies to the town where they grew up - Ponce, Puerto Rico - and deliver them to neighborhoods in need.  The neighborhoods will be notified of when Jorge, Pepa, and Jeff will arrive so the people are able to make arrangements to get the supplies.

What you can do to help:
Please donate.  If you have felt the desire to help, but were not sure where to send your money...  If you were unsure of which organization would maximize your donation...  If you were uneasy about what your money would  be used for...  If you would like to know exactly where your money is going and who it is helping...   

...please donate to our fund and help get supplies directly to the small neighboorhoods in Puerto Rico.  And then follow our journey!   We will post updates and pictures so you are able to see directly where your money has gone and who it has impacted.  

We thank you in advance for your help via donations and shares.  Together we will know that we have done a small part in Helping Puerto Rico Rise.

(Please click on "Subscribe to Updates" below to stay informed)
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Ok, the update is here too, but the pictures are on Facebook. Thank you!!
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Helping Puerto Rico Rise update!!!

Hi everyone! I wanted to give you a long overdue update. Here you will find where your donations have helped since we’ve been back from Puerto Rico in October as well as how our campaign has spread. And because of your amazing support we still have funds to distribute - WOW! At the end, I will share our ideas, as well as ask for yours, on how to best spend the remaining funds. Also, WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS AT THIS TIME so that we can focus on making sure the current money gets placed in the hands of those who truly need it.

As promised, every dollar is going to people affected directly by the hurricane. We have connected with friends in Puerto Rico that have also been helping their own communities in various ways. Because we know and trust them, we have teamed up with a few at times.

NOVEMBER: Omar López, his wife, and a group of people coordinated a Thanksgiving Lunch. They cooked and served meals to people in Barrio Borinquen in Caguas. Our donations helped provide some of the food. Such a selfless act that I’m sure was appreciated by many!

DECEMBER: Canadian Phoenix Volleyball Club near Thornhill Ontario, had been watching our updates and asked how they could help. They decided to adopt a family - actually two families - similar to how schools and churches adopt families around the holidays. We asked friends in Puerto Rico for suggestions of families. We asked that the families were hard working, had kids, and in need directly because of the hurricane. Phoenix Volleyball collected their own donations and bought clothes, toys, and gift cards for the families. We assisted in the shipping for this. Needless to say, the families (one near San Juan, the other near Ponce) were touched and greatly appreciative.
The family that lives near San Juan was in their home during the hurricane when the roof blew off. Scared, they ran to the car and waited out the rest of the storm there. They spent the next 35 days in a refugee area. Later, they moved into a warehouse that was modified to be their temporary home until they moved into their new one. We will continue to support this family and get them back on their feet.
The family near Ponce has a similar story. They are still awaiting for insurance to figure out what they are able to get for their destroyed home. Their kids are young and one is also dealing with health issues. If I remember right, he and his wife are around 28/29 years old. Jorge spoke with the father the other day. He is in good spirits. We will continue to support this family as well.

Also in December, The Chapel, a church in Fort Wayne, IN reached out and asked how they could help. Jorge connected the church to a school in Peñuelas, PR. The Chapel then collected their own donations and purchased school supplies, then mailed them to the school. They also had children from the church write personal letters to the students at the school. The teachers and students were incredibly happy!

FEBRUARY: Alejandro Echevarria has been helping people rebuild their roofs and homes in Utuado, PR. We donated money to help him buy materials to build the roofs. We plan to continue to support Alejandro if needed.

JUNE: A Fort Wayne friend, Colin Letch, is a member of the local rotary club in town. Each year they pick an international cause and hold a fundraiser to raise money for the cause. This year, they chose Helping Puerto Rico Rise!! We were honored. Jorge also spoke at the event. The Fort Wayne Rotarac club raised over $2000 for Puerto Rico that night! Amazing.

LOOKING AHEAD: We plan to continue helping individual families affected by Hurricane Maria get back on their feet - the two families above, as well as new families. Whether they need appliances, furniture, or materials to fix their home, we decided gift cards to Home Depot are appropriate. If you know of any families that are hard working and in need due to the hurricane, feel free to send me their information. Jorge, Pepa, Jeff, Sarah, Coral, Maite, Maricarmen, and I will consider all suggestions and make decisions as a group from there.

Puerto Rico is still struggling and people are still in need of help. However, you have all been a part of helping them rise up. From the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you. Never did we dream that this would grow to the size that it has. It’s been pretty amazing to see all the good in the world. And we are still going. Thank you.

One last note, I will continue to update until our last dollar is spent. I apologize for this long delay in updates, but know that we have still been working! WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS AT THIS TIME so that we can focus on making sure the current money gets placed in the hands of those who truly need it.
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Hello all! I have posted an update on my Facebook page. It’s public, so even if we are not ‘friends,’ you will be able to see it on any of our pages: Molly Ralat, Jorge Ralat, Pepa Ralat, Maricarmen Ralat, Maite Ralat, Jeffrey Ptak, Sarah Ptak, Coral Del Mar
If you are not able to find it, please let me know.

Thank you!!
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A brief update: I feel like we’ve left you all hanging. We were posting weekly, and then multiple times a day during the trip, then fell off to tend to our families and catch our breaths a bit. Apologies! We are still here and have been working behind the scenes :) I can’t believe this, but to date, we have raised $21,425.76!! That is just amazing - you have all motivated and inspired us to make this the absolute best we can. We hope you have been happy with the outcome so far! This would be NOTHING without YOU ❤️ We have $6,069.02 left to work with. We have two leads we are working on and will report back with details and pictures as they come. Thank you! We are not done Helping Puerto Rico Rise! ❤️
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$15,300 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 177 people in 11 months
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