Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift

$183,862 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 1,480 people in 4 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created September 22, 2017
UPDATE: Mon Nov 13, 2017

PLEASE visit our new page 
https://www.gofundme.com/operation-puerto-rico-giftlift
As we move into the next phase of our operation.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for your donations and support.
The people of Puerto Rico thank you as well!
___________________________________



HELP RESCUE MY BELOVED PUERTO RICO

UPDATE: Saturday Nov 11, 2017

This was a big week for Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift.
Yesterday Spirit Airlines landed a plane in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico full of our remaining relief supplies!

Thanks to you, we raised and distributed over $250,000 in relief supplies to these American Citizens who were and continue to be very hard hit. Over 15 relief flights were flown into Aguadilla thanks to the amazing Spirit Airlines. We worked with Spirit to help evacuate 500 people off the island during those first few critical weeks.
Just as importantly, the Operation provided hope and reminded thousands of Puerto Ricans that America stands by them and they are not forgotten.

In Northwest Puerto Rico, where our efforts are focused, we have become a lifeline. The team on the ground continues to work tirelessly distributing supplies.

We have reached the areas of Aguadilla, Aguada, Rincon, Mayaguez, Ponce and other areas. This weekend the team heads to even more remote/isolated areas to distribute supplies.

As we wrap up this part of the operation, I want to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE of you for the support, donations, care, concern, participation...in the times we are living in, the power of the human spirit for kindness has been expressed here.

Please be on the lookout for our next phase of the operation...coming VERY soon.

Muchas gracias,

The team at Operations Puerto Rico Care-Lift




________________________________________________________
UPDATE: Saturday Oct 14, 2017

Today marks the three week anniversary of Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift. It began with 1 email from Lara Richardson asking for friends to help her beloved people of Puerto Rico, 1 small plane, and a $10,000 goal.

Now, it's a full fledged operation with 10 flights under its belt, thousands helped, and over $200,000 in cash and supplies donations raised. This is all because of over 1,200 individual donors like you & the incredible people of Spirit Airlines, Lufthansa Technik, Ion Media, Hemisphere Media, and many volunteers giving of their time.

We initially thought this would be a short time bridge operation but the needs continue and many suffering people are relying on us as their lifeline.

Please take a moment to watch this powerful video produced by 2C's Mark S. Clark.

https://vimeo.com/237150610

We have many more flights to come and need your donations to continue to fill them.

With Gratitude for All You Have Done,

The Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift Team

__________________________________________________________

UPDATE: Monday Oct 9, 2017
We appologize for not updating sooner.
Today, our 7th flight with Spirit Airlines delivered much needed supplies to the Aguadilla area. Thank you SO much for your support. Operation Care-Lift's Chris and Carla Sloan worked all weekend assembling goods, loading palettes and organizing volunteers and logistics for our next phase. Due to your financial contributions, this has all been possible.

We wanted to take a minute to honor someone on our Operation Care-Lift Team...

Please see this note below from Lara Richardson to read about how some of your money is being used:

17 days ago I sent an email to about 25 friends to figure out what I could do to help Puerto Rico. In those last two weeks, we have established a full blown operation that is getting relief supplies directly into Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and the surrounding areas and directly into the hands of people who need it. What has happened I can only descibe as the power of friendship, human spirit and dedication by individuals working towards one cause.
...I would like you to see where your donations and money are going.
Michael Santiago "Mike" pictured below has been the unsung hero of our group. He was embedded during one of our first flights to help set up things on the ground in Puerto Rico. Having just returned from a tour in Afganistan only 5 days prior, Mike took leave of absense to come help us. No easy task. Communciation has been tough, he has been living in the conditions of little food and water and creating something under the harshest conditions. Mike and the team he created literally went DOOR TO DOOR hand delivering supplies to people throughout the Ramey area. Mike spent over 10 days getting this part of our operation set up.
Even getting these pictures was tough due to lack of internet signal, etc. --however HE DID IT!
MIKE made a difference in so many people's lives...including mine.
Thank you is not enough.
This morning we had a call with Spirit Airlines to establish our new phase of distribution. I am so impressed and grateful to the airline for stepping up and getting our supplies delivered. The cause goes on.
Thank you to ALL OF YOU for your continued support.

-Lara Richardson, Chris and Carla Sloan and The Operation PR Care Lift Team





MONDAY 10/2/2017 UPDATE
We're flying back in for a 3rd time!
Palettes are Packed.
Catering is Crated for evacuees (300 meals donated by Danzinger Kosher Catering)!
The team on the island is ready to distribute the food, batteries, water, diapers, baby formula, flashlights, bug spray... 
The deserving, suffering, and very grateful People of Puerto Rico are ready to receive your generous supplies.

Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift is readying for its next flight into savaged Aguadilla, Puerto Rico on the wings of the incredible Spirit Airlines and Lufthansa Technik.

Another 18,000 pounds of relief supplies are going down and thanks to Spirit, another 220 Puerto Rican evacuees are coming back on that Big Yellow Carebus A321!

During these dark days, its comforting that there's still kindness in the world. 

Thank you to all who have supported this effort.
Your compassion knows no ceiling!

Please keep donating and we'll keep going! We are actively looking for more planes to take supplies into PR. 

Due to the overwhelming response, at this time we can not accept any more supplies. However we are still accepting donations here for future supplies and flights.

Gracias. 
With much gratitude,
The Team at Operation PR Care-Lift





_________________________________________________________
UPDATE: Sat Sept 30 7pmET

2 relief flights have gone to Puerto Rico and more to follow! 

On Friday, because of the generosity of your donations to Operation: Puerto Rico Care-Lift 18,000 pounds of supplies were flown into Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. 

This is the northwest corner of the island that is cut off from San Juan. The airport is quite damaged and not open to commercial flights. However, we were able to work with incredibly selfless partners at Spirit Airlines and Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, to make this special relief flight possible - the biggest relief flight into PR’s second largest airport as of Friday. 

Loading and flying a fully loaded passenger stretch Airbus A321 is an expensive endeavor, under normal conditions and this operation was anything but normal. Spirit Airlines has shown their true colors with this 3rd relief flight into Aguadilla alone plus others to US Virgin Islands and Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Their big yellow “CareBus” A321 is an embodiment of relief and compassion throughout the hurricane devastated parts of the Caribbean. 

 Supplies such as pedialyte, diapers, food, small generators, batteries and even WATER (which we were able to purchase last minute due to the ability to take more weight) were delivered straight to these suffering people, instead of languishing in warehouses. It was harrowing, but it got done.

 It gets even better!! 220 evacuees were able to fly back to safety into Ft Lauderdale, Florida thanks to the heroic efforts and support of Spirit Airlines. 

Being on the ground there and hearing the stories from the people who have lived through the devastation of Maria--there are NO words. The deafening silence of the people waiting 4 hours in line fly out of PR yesterday was staggering. It reminded Lara, in particular who when to high school in Aguadilla, of the orderly way in which people during her 9/11 experience were behaving. Lara in particular ventured out into the streets to make contact with some of her friends and relationships on the ground to personally deliver some supplies. The town Lara grew up in was now savaged and barely recognizable. 

Unfortunately, more news we heard first hand is of at least 10 people committing suicide in this region due to lack of supplies this last week. Babies that are going without. One bottle of water per person per day, if they are lucky enough to have the gas to get to it. Gas lines that are 9-15 hours waits for a $10 limited purchase. Most crushing was that people told us over and over that they were Americans who felt essentially forgotten.

 It was life affirming, however, as these people expressed appreciation in cheers and hugs. We told them “America hasn’t forgotten you”, and because of Spirit and you we had the goods to prove it to them.

 There were cheers first as the plane pushed back from the make-shift gates. As we took off from this ravaged island, reality set in and the mood became very somber, people not knowing when and if they would return home again. Our Care-Lift team catered the flight with a full compliment of snacks. Many people said they hadn’t eaten much of anything for a week. 

 We are preparing more flights over with supplies. 

 At this time, we have closed our Amazon Wish list and have suspended accepting physical supplies for the time being due to the overwhelming volume. We estimate we are up to 50,000 pounds of supplies - enough to fill 5 Airbus A321’s.

 We are still accepting monetary donations which will aid in our distribution and will be converted into supplies one the grounds and gift cards to Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Walgreens when they have re-opened. 

 When we can handle more, we will re-institute our physical donations. 

 Please continue to donate and don’t delay as TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

 Our mission which began only a little over a week ago had the goal of hopefully raising $10,000 worth of supplies with a sole partially donated charter flight has mushroomed into a full-blown movement THANKS TO YOU. We have received over 700 donations from clients, friends, vendors, competitors, and even perfect strangers have rallied around this operation. We have now surpassed our financial goal by more than a factor of 10x due to YOUR SUPPORT!

 Though this is a grass roots mission, we have had corporate partners step up big time: In particularly our heaviest hitter ION Media, Discovery Communications, Hemisphere Media (owner of PR’s rated TV station WAPA-TV 4), PromaxBDA but most of all Spirit Airlines & Lufthansa Technik PR.

 We thank our team of Operation PR Care-Lift that has worked round the clock since the beginning in addition to their day jobs. 

 A special shout to the team at 2C Media which has been our base of operations, logistics, and supply staging. 

 We are so humbled at the spirit of strength, humanity and gratitude that we have witnessed in the last seven days. We appreciate that you trusted us - that is a sacred pact. In these scary and divisive times, it takes events like these to remind us that kindness still exists in the world. It really does.

 We have a long way to go. The Enchanted Isle will rise again. Viva Puerto Rico!

 Gracias por todo,

The team of Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift

 

________________________________________________________
FRIDAY Sept 22, 2017

The destruction that raged across Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria is unfathomable. It is now a full blown Humanitarian Crisis.
Puerto Rico is near and dear to my heart. I went all four years of high school there and my daughter is half-Puerto Rican. The island has been devastated by two back to back Hurricanes in two weeks and has lost 100 percent of its power grid. This disaster happens on the heals of over 10 years of severe economic recession and hardship. And frankly, most people don't have a way off this Island.

Having volunteered with the Red Cross during Hurricane  Katrina, I'm all too familiar with this kind of destruction. 
My friend Chris Sloan, who has lived through many Hurricanes including Irma has secured a plane. Together, with Derrick Cruz and others, we have assembled a " Go Team". 

We are being CALLED to help the citizens of the island of Puerto Rico who are Americans. Together, we MUST respond to this catastrophe.

We have secured a CARGO PLANE out of Miami down to Puerto Rico likely departing FRIDAY SEPT 29, so we ask for your immediate response.
 
Here are ways you can help.

1. Make MONETARY donations to fund this relief effort right here. We will purchase supplies from your donations.

2. Send supplies that will be collected by 2C Media in Miami. Do this by ordering via an online retailer like Amazon, dropping them  off in person or shipping to 2C.

3. Monetary Gift cards to Costco, Home Depot, Shell (Gas), and Walmart. These will be hand delivered and distributed to the people of Puerto Rico in need of staples.

2C Media c/o Nikki Coloma
12550 Biscayne Blvd Suite 700 North Miami, FL 33181 
305-672-8229


We need these donations:
(Please do not send any liquids.
Due to weight restrictions on the plane, we can not accept liquids)
Gatoraid- powder only
Pedialyte - powder only
Personal Care Kits: toothpaste, tooth brushes, tampons
Diapers 
Baby formula- powder only
Flashlights and radios - solar powered preferably 
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Canned Non perishable foods
Can Openers
First Aid Kits
Mosquito Repellent and Bug Spray 
Gloves
Hand sanitzer
Trash Bags
Towels
Cloroz disinfecting wipes


3. A future relief mission. We need YOU. Medics, spanish speaking translators, logistics coordinators, any able bodied person to help. We are planning this phase in the coming weeks and are collecting a list of interested people.

Thanks for considering. Whatever you can contribute, you won't regret it.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. Please consider standing by us and spreading the word via social media and emails.

Gracias
Lara Richardson & Chris Sloan
+ Read More
This was a big week for Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift.
Yesterday Spirit Airlines landed a plane in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico full of our remaining relief supplies!

Thanks to you, we raised and distributed over $250,000 in relief supplies to these American Citizens who were and continue to be very hard hit. Over 15 relief flights were flown into Aguadilla thanks to the amazing Spirit Airlines. We worked with Spirit to help evacuate 500 people off the island during those first few critical weeks.
Just as importantly, the Operation provided hope and reminded thousands of Puerto Ricans that America stands by them and they are not forgotten.

In Northwest Puerto Rico, where our efforts are focused, we have become a lifeline. The team on the ground continues to work tirelessly distributing supplies.

We have reached the areas of Aguadilla, Aguada, Rincon, Mayaguez, Ponce and other areas. This weekend the team heads to even more remote/isolated areas to distribute supplies.

As we wrap up this part of the operation, I want to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE of you for the support, donations, care, concern, participation...in the times we are living in, the power of the human spirit for kindness has been expressed here.

Please be on the lookout for our next phase of the operation...coming VERY soon.

Muchas gracias,

The team at Operations Puerto Rico Care-Lift
+ Read More
Today is another big day!
Operation Care-Lift's Chris Sloan is boarding a Spirit flight with over 20,000 pounds of supplies headed to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, that were made possible by donations from you.
Spirit has given us our own plane to deliver water (yes, people still need water!) baby formula, diapers, food and other life sustaining supplies.
This is going to be a long road for the people of Puerto Rico so we have also been able to purchase gift cards from Walmart, which has started to reopen.
Operation Care-Lift's Mike Santiago and Shirley Torres have been serving in Puerto Rico on the ground, distributing supplies and running our daily operation there. After two weeks and one week respectively, they will be ensuring the delivery gets into the correct hands and then flying home to their families this afternoon.
Our operation continues...because the need continues and because your donations continue.
Thank you! Please share our GOFundMe page with others.
And check our Facebook page for more extensive updates and photos.
Muchas gracias por su generosidad.
+ Read More
Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift sends a BIG THANK YOU to all our donors. Your contributions have provided over 100,000 pounds of supplies and fed thousands.
With over 10 flights into Aguadilla, we are working on two more this week.
Gracias!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
THANK YOU!
+ Read More
Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift
is on week #4 of deliverying life-saving supplies to the northwest corner of Puerto Rico. We were able to receive some pictures from on the ground.

Michael Santiago and team have been going door to door in places like Aguadilla, Martinica and surrounding areas. Yesterday, a distribution point was created where Aguadilla's Saturday Farmer's Market normally takes place. Over 200 people received supplies from this location. Thank you to OneTenThai, the police department and Lufthansa for the support. We are planning to fly more supplies down this week in order to do another distribution next Saturday.

Operation Care-Lift would not exist if it weren't for the generousity of over 1500 individual donors...you, our GOFUNDME and friend networks, have given over $175,000 in cash and hundreds in physical donations.
We thank you SO much. The people of Puerto Rico thank you SO much. Operation Care-Lift is still caring and still lifting supplies.

Much gratitude!
Lara, Chris, Carla, Mike, Don, Shirley, Seth, JP and the entire team at Operation PR Care-Lift
+ Read More
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$183,862 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 1,480 people in 4 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created September 22, 2017
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