Together Puerto Rico
We are continuing our work around the island. Currently we are working with Siempre Contigo (which means Always with You) who are organizing our distribution efforts to be directed toward families who have seniors and bedridden people. These families especially need more assistance as medical costs are so high, time so valuable, and people with weaker immune systems need clean water. We will be going door-to-door around the island and into the mountains to distribute the water filters and solar lights and other needed personal items that may be in need, such as adult diapers, soaps, toothbrushes, etc. As always, we will keep you posted!
Together Puerto Rico is now a 501(c)(3) charity, which means your donation is 100% tax deductible.
To date, Together Puerto Rico has purchased and distributed 465 solar lights and 500 water filters, along with other much needed supplies. Thank you, everyone, for keeping people healthy and safe!!!
We are working to get another 500 water filters and 500 more solar lights in the hands of people who need them the most. We need your help to do it!
This campaign is focused on purchasing water filters and solar lights for families in Puerto Rico where the water quality is often poor, gets shut off regularly and there are frequent black outs. When there is no electricity, many of the water supply plants do not have the power to adequately clean the water.
Our goal with this campaign is to keep people safe and healthy and to let these U.S. Citizens know they are not forgotten. We have partnered with Sawyer Products water filter company to buy the high-quality water filters at cost, reducing our expenditures and making your donation go even further. We have also partnered with MPOWERD to buy the Luci Lights at wholesale price.
Water filters and solar lights also help protect the environment by eliminating costly plastic water bottles and disposable batteries.
I live in Puerto Rico and personally act as a volunteer, distributing the supplies on the weekends and getting the word out in my spare time. Your donation means so much! When we distribute the supplies we explain to people how the water filters work, we talk with people and we learn about their lives - how they cope with no water and electricity or how they fear the next hurricane season. I can tell you first-hand how much people appreciate this gift - it really means so much to them, to be able to keep their families healthy and safe and not have to worry so much and to know others care. There is no greater gift than letting people know you care.
I do a happy dance every time a GoFundMe donation comes through!! Your donation to Together Puerto Rico helps a LOT and makes a BIG IMPACT.
To combat not having clean water to drink, eliminate bacterial infections and save lives, I am asking everyone to join and help contribute to this campaign - every bit helps - $5, $10, $25, $100, whatever you can afford. Every amount makes a huge difference!
Or please simply SHARE this information with others! Sharing alone brings in an average of $40!
This statement came from a volunteer who delivered our supplies in October 2017:
"Thanks to your generosity we have been able to give food, clean water, and toiletries to people in need. One woman has a baby and lost her 14 year old to leptospirosis; that water filter was immensely appreciated."
Also visit https://www.togetherpuertorico.com for information about our organization.
TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH.
Jami Broom & Together Puerto Rico
Because of Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans, especially in the mountainous areas, do not have running water or access to clean drinking water. Several deaths and nearly a hundred cases of leptospirosis, a water-born bacterial disease, have been confirmed.
We are ensuring that people who need it most are receiving water filters which reduce death, illness and bacterial disease, like salmonella and parasites.
Together Puerto Rico is now on the ground in Puerto Rico and working with Water for Puerto Rico to deliver water filters and other supplies.
I wanted to share with you some photos of my trips over the weekend to Canónovas and Arecibo/Florida, PR.
We took 20 water filters and buckets to a pastor in Canónovas and other supplies that Water for Puerto Rico had received from Oregon for Puerto Rico.
We gave a demonstration on how to use the water filters and the pastor and his family helped us put them together. The next day, the pastor distributed the filters and buckets to people in his community. They were so grateful for the supplies!! They said that no one had been to their street yet - not FEMA, not the electric company and not even the mayor. They had severe damage to their homes, which had a beautiful view of El Yunque, the National rainforest. They showed us video of their two story home being flooded. They had to escape out the back window and up a hill with snakes and centipedes and children on their backs. A true nightmare and they still are without electricity nearly 80 days later. The very next day they sent us photos of the people to whom they distributed the water filters and buckets and other supplies.
The next day (Sunday) we drove out to Florida, a mountainous town outside of Arecibo. People have not had electric there for a very long time! We distributed 35 of the water filters and buckets and gave everyone a demonstration on how to use them. Everyone was grateful for the supplies!
This week we are trying to decide the best place to take the buckets but we are speaking to a woman who knows of 50 cancer patients in need.
Just to let you know, I am not drinking the water in Puerto Rico unless it is filtered and have begun to wash my face only with filtered water, as a strange rash was on my eyes. I thought it was an allergy but other people have reported similar problems. There is still an island wide boil advisory and only half if people have electric. These water filters are really helping people so much and your contribution is saving lives and helping people stay healthy. Please continue to spread the word!! Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to purchase these filters and get them to the people who need them the most!!
Just an update to let you know what has been happening! Thank you all for the continued support - together we are helping to keep people safe, healthy and alive. Every time one of you shares this campaign with your Facebook contacts, I have at least one donation come in! I am so appreciative that we have crossed over the $4,000 mark!
Together, we have been able to accomplish the following:
- Purchased personal hygiene items and clothing/shoes for evacuees of neighboring islands in Ashford Hospital ($235)
- Purchased and dropped off $700 worth of food, drinks, baby items, and personal hygiene items for evacuees of neighboring islands in Puerto Rico.
- Purchased and distributed 3 multi-gas stoves to families in need ($260)
- Distributed 25 solar lights and other solar supplies and 4 water filters to AIDS patients and health workers in Puerto Rico ($1,250)
- Shipped and distributed 200 Luci solar lights to families in need in a mountainous part of Puerto Rico, via the nonprofit organization Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas, PR. ($1,265)
- Shipped and distributed 200 Sawyer personal water filters to families in mountainous regions of Puerto Rico - Aibonito and Aguas Buenas. ($1,920)
- Shipped needed medical supplies to a Doctor's office in PR - gloves, masks, alcohol swabs and water, plus two water filters and two solar panels for charging cell phones. ($160)
Thank you so much for keeping Puerto Rico in your thoughts. Clean water is and will continue to be a problem for the island for a long time to come. Because of so much flooding and devastation of dead animal bodies and the sewage system, the water supply was ruined, dams broken and it is very dangerous to drink the water without boiling it or using a quality, specialized water filter that gets rid of bacteria. People can not boil water since about 90% still do not have power, and even those who do have it, only have it on and off where it goes out for hours or a full day at a time.
Please watch this video from NBC news for more information on the dire situation - https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/puerto-ricans-risk-waterborne-disease-outbreaks-wake-hurricane-maria-n814461
Help spread the word!
The priority now is WATER. Half of 3.4 million people do not have ANY water, and there is NO DRINKABLE WATER anywhere on the island. At least 4 people have died from leptospirosis and many more became ill, which is a dangerous bacteria. There are water filters that can get rid of 99.99999% of bacteria, including bacteria that causes leptospirosis.
Watch the video -- this reporter has become a hero for Puerto Ricans.
As heavy rains and poor drainage from the last hurricane are causing additional flooding in Puerto Rico, not much has changed in a month. People are still without power (90% of the island) and half are still without water. People are still seeking missing relatives, have not been able to contact relatives and many people in the mountainous areas have not received any help from mayors or local government or FEMA or anyone. Many private Puerto Rican citizens volunteering on their own are reporting that often when they take food/water/diapers to people in isolated areas that they are the first help those people have received. After nearly a month!!
The only good news is that now that roads are cleared, the United States Post Office, UPS and FedEx are running and at least can deliver to post offices of the major cities and towns.
We have almost met the original goal of $5,000 but I am changing it to $15,000. This is a crucial step and means I WILL NEED YOUR HELP. THIS IS YOUR CAMPAIGN, TOO! PLEASE SHARE MY POSTS AND LET OTHERS KNOW HOW DIRE THE SITUATION IS. If you know me at all, I don't cry wolf unless there is a wolf. I am so grateful to everyone who has donated; you know have no idea how excited I get when I hear my GoFundMe ding because I know what a difference you are making in someone's life.
The local and federal governments are failing its citizens, big time. I could get into the politics of it, but we all pay taxes for a reason and being left to die during a disaster, is not one of those reasons. Private U.S. citizens (like you!) and Puerto Ricans are stepping up to the plate in a major way and providing much needed help.
My plan is to raise money only for the water filters (1,000 of them!) and send them to Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas or another organization called Water for Puerto Rico , which has people on the ground to distribute. I spoke to a company in Tampa - Sawyer - who will sell the water filters at cost to anyone working with disaster stricken populations, that means they will sell them for $9 for a personal water filter and $12 for a filter that attaches to a bucket. They are normally $22.
Here is the info on the filters ...
High performance filter fits in the palm of your hand; weighs just 2 ounces; 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter
Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons; includes 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, 7-inch drinking straw, and cleaning plunger
I am also talking with my doctor who is in Puerto Rico and needs several items for his patients:
- Large gloves
- IV fluids
- ringers lactate
- alcohol swabs
- solar chargers
If you want to help further please keep donating to the campaign, share the campaign on Facebook/Twitter and tell your family/coworkers/friends. Please. This is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/togetherpuertorico
And just so you know TOGETHER, we were able to send 200 solar lights to Puerto Rico via a Houston to Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas, PR. who distributed them to some of the hardest hit areas of PR.
THIS IS A HUGE BENEFIT TO PEOPLE, SOME OF WHOM HAVE BEEN WITHOUT LIGHTS SINCE HURRICANE IRMA HIT 2 MONTHS AGO. YAY!! YOU DID IT!!
This Go Fund Me page was created to bring solar light and other survival tools (gas stoves, water filtration systems) to people in Puerto Rico without water or electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
One $40 donation buys a 4-pack of solar lights!
Monster Maria completely decimated the island of 3.4 million people. This GoFundMe was created by Jami Broom, who has called San Juan, Puerto Rico home for the past few years.
Because of YOU, 100 new solar lights are on their way to Puerto Rico!! I found a great partner to work with who is going to fly supplies to a trusted grassroots nonprofit organization in Puerto Rico called Casa Pueblo (casapueblo.org). They will then be able to distribute the solar lights that you helped purchase! The lights are on their way as we speak to Houston, TX and will fly out October 9th!
LET'S KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING! Now that we have a trusted partner, let's try to reach that $5,000 goal in the next few days so that we can get even more solar lights in the hands of the people.
I received this message from Angel today ... "People are so grateful for the donations at my work. Thanks so much."
Unfortunately, the problem in Puerto Rico is going to persist for a long time. This hurricane was worse than Katrina, Harvey and Irma combined. There are 3.4 million people in Puerto Rico and the majority have absolutely no lights and will be without lights for months. Let's try to keep people safe and secure by giving them light!
<3 Thank you all so much!!
Thank you everyone! I want to let you know that the supplies I took to San Juan have reached the people! I have returned to Tennessee for now ... though I feel an obligation to stay and help physically, given all the circumstances in my life, I will be able to help more from here for now with an internet connection and not in the chaos of trying to find food every day.
The great news is that I was able to distribute two solar panels and solar lights to two people who are out helping others and need to stay in communication. I will explain how the other supplies were distributed below.
First I want to tell you how dire the situation is in Puerto Rico. The island was obliterated. The vegetation is gone ... the rain forest ... it will grow back(?) but for now it is gone. It is extremely depressing to see nothing but brown on such a big island that was once so lush. But worse than this utter destruction of homes and nature, is the worry on the faces of everyone in the street - how will they get their next meal? how will they get gas? will there be enough water? The entire island of 3.5 million people are in "survival mode". Although Puerto Ricans, or Boricuas as they are known by their Taino Indian name, are out helping one another and making the most of a very bad situation, there is a lot of tension and stress and worry of what is to come. People are waiting 4-8 hours in line for gasoline. The grocery stores, if you can find one open also have very long lines. Many people still do not have water. No one has electric. The heat is stifling.
The first person I gave a solar panel to was out rescuing his friend's family from their home with his paddle board - they were stuck - TEN DAYS after Hurricane Maria. He went in and got the family and then went back for a couple suitcases. Many people are still stuck in their homes and have not been able to be reached by their family - by phone or car. Parts of Puerto Rico are very remote and hilly and the relief efforts have been slow and disorganized. People have not been able to communicate. We have not begun to uncover the devastation or the deaths this massacre has caused - and it's possible we never will. We are not hearing much about this on the news, but NBC did a story on a rescue mission here - https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/puerto-rico-family-rescued-by-relative-after-two-weeks-stranded-on-muddy-mountain-1056504387615
The second person I gave a solar panel to - in addition to contributing to this campaign - is also helping people and is the person who distributed the supplies. Angel Rivera, who lives up to his name, works for the Health Department of Puerto Rico, providing services and resources for mainly low-income HIV patients. Because my time in Puerto Rico was so limited (I either had to get out now or who knows when - all other flights were booked) and because communication was so difficult and gasoline so difficult to come by, I would not have been able to get the supplies into the hands of the people most in need without Angel's help.
Even though he was back to work full time at the Health Department, Angel made an effort to drive to my location and collect the supplies, help me sort through them and think about the best way to deliver them and to whom. He had several coworkers who lost everything in the hurricane - one only had a partial roof on her home, one they are still trying to reach. These are people who provide health services to many of the island's lowest income people and need to be able to function and get to work. They were given the gas stoves and other solar lights/panels as well as the water filtration systems. There were several "packs" that were given to people. The rest of the solar lights - about 15 of them - were distributed to the clients that come to the health center - most of whom are HIV patients.
These items are already helping people - I used my Luci Light - the solar blow up light - for the four days I was in Puerto Rico and it was such a blessing. It is very dark on the island and people need light to be safe.
Please see the pictures below Angel sent me from his work where the supplies were mostly distributed. He sent more pictures but this GoFundMe platform only allows me to post three pictures at a time.
Also, with checks in the mail and PayPal donations, we have also reached the halfway point in my original request! I will have another update soon on what I plan to do with the rest of the donations. There are so many options, but I want to make the most of our money.
Thank you all so much - your donation and these supplies have already helped quite a few people.
Thank you to everyone who has been asking how they can help and what they can donate to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria!
My name is Jami Broom and for the last several years I have called Puerto Rico "home".
Wow. What a crazy month. TWO hurricanes! This has been a very stressing time. Fortunately/Unfortunately I was in the United States when Maria struck Puerto Rico. When I left Puerto Rico for a scheduled trip, I had no idea another hurricane was coming. For several reasons and obligations to other people (and my cat), I have to go back, although I do not plan on staying very long if there is no water or electric, as I realize that I may do more good from here than there.
That said, since I am going, I will be taking supplies down with me. I have spent the last two days gathering supplies - since FEMA and other government agencies already are good at distributing water and food, I thought I would focus on other needed items that help people be safe and in communication, like solar energy and rechargeable batteries. Since I am only one person, I can not take much with me, but have contacted Delta who says they will wave my baggage fees. I bought all the portable solar panels I could find in this region (TN/VA/NC) and also went to Diamond Brand Outdoors, who gave me a 20% discount(!) once I mentioned that I was gathering supplies for Puerto Rico. What a big help that was!
Anyway, I added it up and with the discount, and not including tax and not including supplies I bought for myself, I spent $920.
When I get to Puerto Rico (should be Tuesday!) I will distribute the solar lights, solar battery chargers and panels to people in need.
If anyone wants to help me recover these costs, please and thank you for donating to this page.
ONCE I GET TO PUERTO RICO I will be looking for other opportunities to help the island and distribute solar lights, solar security lights, solar panels and solar battery charges. Small solar panels can help people charge their phones and other USB devices, like flashlights and small fans. Rechargeable batteries by solar energy can be used for battery operated fans, flashlights and radios.
People need to feel safe in their homes and on the streets and be able to communicate. Here is a good opportunity for you to help!
If anyone has any ideas about getting solar panels, solar lights distributed at a discount or getting a shipping container together or other transportation (airplanes?) to get these items to people, please contact me.
Please let's help work Together for Puerto Rico!
ORIGINAL FUNDING REQUEST - IRMA
A couple hospitals in Puerto Rico are taking in people whose lives were devastasted by neighboring islands. These people, children and babies are in need of clothing, blankets, and basic necessities.
One of these hospitals is right down the street from me here in San Juan, Puerto Rico and I plan on purchasing some of these items myself but thought it would be a great opportunity for anyone glued to their tv set watching IRMA about to batter Florida, to feel like they can do something to help. Thank you so much for caring!!
I plan on making the purchases now and delivering the items today, but it would be awesome if others would chip in. Below is a list of items the hospital is saying they need:
Presby Hospital in Condado has received several patients from our neighboring islands affected by hurricane Irma and they need our help. If you would like to help, they are collecting these basic necessity items:
- Men's Clothing 3XL
- Women's Clothing Size S, M y L
- Mouth Wash
- Shower Gel
- Body Lotion
- Hair Accessories (hair brush, comb, headbands, hair clips, etc.)
- Book bags or suitcase
- Baby Bottles
- Desitin o A&D
- Baby Shower Products
- Baby Cloths
A couple weeks ago we went to Loiza, Puerto Rico, a northern coastal town (predominantly African American) that was suffering major damages from Hurricane Irma (which left 40 families homeless) when Hurricane Maria hit the island, making matters much worse for everyone. There we met up again with community leader Kenny Diaz who had requested solar lights as well as hygiene products like adult diapers, feminine products and toothpaste and soaps/shampoos. We were able to distribute 40 solar lights as well as hygiene products. This community had already been given water filters by our partner, Water for Puerto Rico / Agua Para Puerto Rico.
Currently we are working with our new partner Siempre Contigo (which means Always with You) and organizing our distribution efforts to be directed toward families who have seniors and bedridden people as well as single mothers and people who have been hard hit by the hurricane. These families especially need more assistance as medical costs are so high, time so valuable, and people with weaker immune systems need clean water. Siempre Contigo gave us a list of nearly 100 families that they have been helping in Puerto Rico since the storm and we are working on delivering the filters and solar lights to them.
This weekend we began going door-to-door around the island and into the mountains to distribute the water filters and solar lights.
We were able to recruit some AMAZING NEW VOLUNTEERS - who delivered water filters to Arecibo, PR, another coastal town. We were also able to reach one family who was in a very humble situation high in the mountains of Jayuya. We will continue recruiting volunteers for distribution this week and hopefully be able to reach all the families in the next few weeks.
In other news, we are SO GRATEFUL for the support of our donors and are happy to report a large sizable donation of $2,907 from the All Souls Unitarian Church. A special thanks to Rev. Mark Bowen who made that donation possible. I also woke to the HAPPY NEWS TODAY that we received a large donation from Adam Thodey of Lyons, CO who generously matched the donations he raised for his Summer Science Program (SummerScience.org) and donated them to @TogetherPuertoRico. THANK YOU. This means we will be able to reach so many more people and keep them healthy and safe.
Enjoy these photos - I wish I could add more to this GoFundMe update, but please visit, like and follow us on Facebook to see more photos and share our news! Thank you so much!! https://www.facebook.com/togetherpuertorico
The first photo is a group of neighbors in Loiza, PR we took solar lights and supplies. The other two photos are of our volunteer extraordinaire Jen Crowley who delivered water filters and solar lights in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
Together Puerto Rico is a 501(c)(3) charity, which means your donation is 100% tax deductible.
It has almost been one year since Hurricane Maria hit our pretty island. Puerto Rico has become beautiful once again, but there are many obstacles - figuratively and literally - mainly politics/government and physical objects like telephone poles still falling and debris in too many places. People are still worried about having clean water and no electric, especially as hurricane season is here once again. Many people are still with only a blue tarp for a roof and still many have had so much damage, they may never be able to return home.
Yesterday I drove up the mountains to Ciales, PR with volunteer Angel Xavier to deliver 25 Sawyer Products water filters and 30 MPOWERD Inc. Luci solar lanterns to a Pastora Carmen Vázquez Median and her congregation at Iglesia De Dios Sube Al Monte. They told us their water comes out murky from the public water system and it is being powered by generators, with blackouts happening often. Needless to say, the water filters and solar lights were hugely appreciated - thanks to everyone who keeps supporting our efforts!! ❤️ Big thanks to everyone who made it possible! We purchased the solar lanterns and the filters were donated by high school students and Education4All from Mountain View, CA. Big thanks to Water for Puerto Rico / Agua para Puerto Rico for connecting us to the Pastor and finding us some buckets. ❤️❤️
Thank you all so much for contributing - any amount helps so much! Remember, we are merely volunteers - 90% of your tax deductible donations goes toward providing needed supplies to hurricane victims. We can not do it without you!
Please like us on Facebook and visit our website!
I just wanted to give you an update on what we have been up to and share with you some photos of the work we have been doing and the wonderful people we met along the way.
In May we went to Aguas Buenas to deliver 35 water filters and 70 solar lights to families who who still had no power (and had not had power since Maria). A giant THANKS to Danny Erazo who runs a kids program with 125 families in an abandoned school and helped get us organized. These kids were great and so were their parents, who we distributed supplies to when they came to collect their children. Danny also distributed 5 of the water filters and 10 solar lights to people in his community who are bedridden. Thanks to our partner agency Water for Puerto Rico and Krista Noland for finding donated buckets for the water filters and our volunteer Camilla for providing instruction on the water filters to the families.
Earlier in May we made two trips to Maunabo in the Southeastern corner of Puerto Rico. On our first visit there we met a man with an eye infection who told us his water was discolored in his neighborhood ... so the next weekend we went to his neighborhood in the same town of Maunabo. The entire neighborhood had lost power at 7am. This happens a lot in Puerto Rico! And when the power supply goes, so does the ability of the water supply facility to properly clean and treat the water supply. The water systems in Puerto Rico are severely outdated, even when there is electricity to run them. Everyone in these neighborhoods were happy to get the water filters and solar lights! We were able to distribute 65 Sawyer Point One water filters and 30 solar lights in Maunabo. Special thank to volunteer Angel Rivera for explaining to every household how to use their filter and what it does for them. (He could barely speak by the end of the day he had worn out his voice so much!)
The reason we went to Maunabo to begin with was to help our friend and volunteer extraordinaire, Krista Noland, to clean the house of a man with diabetes in a wheelchair. We also took him supplies, of which the one item that brought a giant grin to his face was a solar powered radio! He had no electricity or running water and he was ecstatic to get a radio - he had been so bored! He was dancing in his wheelchair he was so happy!
Some other projects we have been working on is helping volunteers find projects that need their help. Our website lists opportunities that are ongoing around the island and we try to find supplies and help for anyone who puts in a request on our website.
Thank you so much for your support and contributions! Your donations have touched so many lives and people we meet are so very grateful for the water filters and solar sights. There is a huge fear of another storm happening (many people are suffering from “hurricane PTSD”) and to know that other people care about them and are sending love from far away places gives everyone some peace of mind.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart to allow us to continue our work. We have received a few sizable donations and will soon be able to purchase and distribute more supplies. Yay!
Oh! I almost forgot! Together Puerto Rico is now a 501c3 nonprofit organization, so your donations are now tax deductible! :-D
Together Puerto Rico