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Hurricane Relief - Puerto Rico

$945 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 14 months
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UPDATE 11/21/2017 -
Our initial fundraiser was a complete success! We raised a combined total of $2,300 and helped over 50 families with supplies especially in the housing complex of Luquetti located in Yauco, PR.

Our new goal is to continue helping the families in Luquetti which was devastated by the massive flooding due to the River Yauco. Water rose upwards of 5 feet high leaving these families with nothing left.

Their current situation is dire. They have been told to relocate and their efforts have been useless. Apartments are either too expensive, for sale or abandoned leaving the families in their homes full of mud and no electricity. The floods continue since the rain has been pretty consistent.

The National Guard distributes snacks, not sustainable food, once a week. They are starving, living in very poor conditions and no real help has found its way over.

Around 25 families currently live there surrounded by mud and no electricity. I believe they do have potable water which still is questionable and should be boiled before consumption.

We invite you to view the documentary from our first trip back in which we helped those families in Luquetti here: https://youtu.be/N74i4XXrsrw

We appreciate all the help we can get. We have started our organization Stardust Foundation 

Thank you!

xo,
Melissa

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Initial goal:

The objective is to aid up to 50 families in Yauco, Puerto Rico and surrounding municipalies – a rural area in southwest Puerto Rico especially hard hit by the Hurricane Maria. Due to its remote location, it is taking even longer than normal for basic services to be restored. Meanwhile, with limited resources; including now potable water and gasoline; the situation is actually becoming more dire as time goes on. People in these areas cannot get to the larger communities such as San Juan or even closer urban areas, such as the nearby city, Ponce, as the lines for gas and other supplies are often days long, and they need to conserve what little gas they have left in case of emergency. What relief has arrived, though well-intentioned, is often in the form of food which is ultimately unusable - because many natural water sources have tainted, so any food requiring water can’t be cooked (spaghetti or other wheat-based foods for example).

We aim to deliver roughly fifty boxes to families in these neighborhoods containing many supplies that are immediately usable and can help ease the burden for a week or two as more long-term relief efforts continue to take shape. Not only will this include food, but basic power sources (solar powered lanterns and phone charges) to allow for communication and other basic needs while power is being restored.

The supplies will be picked up in several points along the way as not everything will be available in the same location – some will be bought on amazon and shipped, a van will be rented in San Juan where some items will be picked up, others in Ponce, and some actually will be able to be delivered directly to Yauco where another member of the team will be able to receive them safely. We will assemble the boxes at a home in Yauco and distribute to families in these hard-hit communities in the following days.

The below list of intended items is based on first-hand experience of what is needed in this community. The items will be adjusted based on support, with at minimum the cases of bottled water and solar chargers being delivered. Several fundraisers are in progress to raise at least the minimum funds required.

Personal note from Melissa Lomax (Otero):

Growing up in Yauco, Puerto Rico, I have been blessed with the islands rich culture, love and beauty. Having experienced first hand the devastation from Hurricane Maria, I cannot sit back and wait for help to come. My parents, one sister, other family members, friends and more still live there and they are truly suffering. I have documented the preparations, the experience during and the aftermath of the hurricane and I ask you to please join me in help bring these families some much needed help in the south west of the island. The funds will go towards three things I believe are very useful right now: Solar lightbulbs, solar cell phone chargers, mosquito nets and water purification tablets.

Thank you for your love and compassion. We hope to continue spreading the word and help these people in desperate need.

xo,
Melissa
+ Read More
Our work is far from over. We just received word that the neighborhood Luquetti has been deemed unsafe to live in and these families have to move out. They need our help. Housing isn't easy to find for a few reasons: The apartments/houses are too expensive to rent, they're for sale or abandoned. The National Guard is only providing food for them once a week and what they are receiving are small snacks. Nothing sustainable. Our current goals are as follows:

1- To purchase groceries at their local supermarket (Mr. Special) for each family. (There are currently between 20 - 25 families living in Luquetti)

2- To provide a generator or two for the president of the neighborhood so they can, as a community, cook meals and have proper nutrition.

3- Help search for housing in Yauco and surrounding municipalities.

We invite you to view our 18 minute documentary which shows the work we did in PR last week. Please help spread the word and visi https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/hurricane-relief-yauco-pr/review/getpanel?panel=updates#t our organization's website www.stardustfoundation.net Thank you!
+ Read More
#PuertoRicoRising Behind the beauty is devastation. Help us continue to help the families in Luquetti (Yauco, PR) and surrounding areas. Our first fundraiser was a complete success! We raised over $2,300 and helped over 50 families by bringing them much needed supplies! Now we'd like to do more. Visit our GoFundMe Campaign to contribute for our Holiday Drive at https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-yauco-pr or visit www.stardustfoundation.net for more information.

Thank you Nick Christian for creating this beautiful song so many years ago and Jelani Powell for your visual talent. Thank you Mark Christie and Hunters Point Parks Conservancy for your partnership on something so important and dear to me and finally, thank you to the people of New York that contributed to our cause. Stay tuned for our full documentary coming soon. xo Melissa #100x35jetblue
Nick Christian w Melissa Otero - Rising
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Our first round of campaign was a success! We distributed supplies to over 50 families in San Juan, Salinas, San German and Yauco. Hard hit housing complex Luquetti was especially hard hit and we ran out of supplies to help the 20 families left in the area. We had enough for 15 and would like to continue raising funds for the final 5. Every little bit helps. Thank you! xo
Distributing supplies in Luquetti -Yauco
Distributing supplies in Luquetti -Yauco
Supplies
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We have received our first batch of SOLAR CELL PHONE CHARGERS!!! WOHOO!!! We have now ordered mosquito nets and solar light bulbs! THANK YOU!!! :)
First batch of Solar Cell Phone Chargers
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$945 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 14 months
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