Nearly two weeks ago, a Category 4 storm named Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. The storm was the worst natural disaster in Dominica in its recorded history and ended up wiping out electricity for the entire island. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million citizens are expected to be without power for months — and this presents many problems. Though many organizations and companies — such as Tesla, which is shipping hundreds of Powerwall Battery systems to the island — have stepped up to help, much more aid is needed.
In some areas, residents are struggling to find enough food to eat — let alone keep their houses well-lit and warm. For this reason, musician Daddy Yankee and musician/actor Jennifer Lopez have donated $1 million each to hurricane relief efforts.
Daddy Yankee, who made an appearance in the international hit “Despacito,” is asking people to help out as much as much as they comfortably can. “As a Puerto Rican who lives on the island, I felt the call, that the rebuilding of my country has to be for a long term,” he told People in a statement. “In this initial phase, I want to make sure that every person has a plate to eat. In the long run, my commitment is work to ensure that the largest number of families on the island have a safe roof.”
He later told CNN:
“A lot of people don’t know I’m from Puerto Rico. I have my family there, I have my wife, my daughter, and I live there still … and we really need your help. A lot of people don’t know Puerto Ricans are American citizens … we need the federal money for the citizens and for the government to help the locals.”
The Puerto Rico native has been emotionally impacted by the photos of the natural disaster thus far. “Watching the images of the video and comparing it to the images I’ve seen so far — it’s devastated. I know a lot of people are struggling. There’s no communication, no power on the island, the hospitals are not working. We need the government to be more proactive,” he said.
Jennifer Lopez, who is also a Puerto Rican native, is donating $1 million, as well.
“I will be donating one million dollars from the proceeds of my Las Vegas show to the designated beneficiaries—charitable and NGO organizations,” Lopez said in a statement. “I’ve been so moved by the initial responses for support from our friends and associates in entertainment and business. They have been overwhelming. Nobody said no. Anybody we’ve called is right there asking what they can do, they’re all very eager to help.”
“With Marc Antony, we are spearheading additional relief efforts and organizing the Latino community of artists and athletes to rush the relief that our brothers and sisters in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean desperately need,” the artist added. ”We’re working with Mark Cuban and J.J. Barea. We have two team planes filled with supplies and generators awaiting air clearance to depart, land, and unload these much-needed supplies in San Juan. And I will be donating one million dollars from the proceeds of my Las Vegas show to the designated beneficiaries—charitable and NGO organizations.”
Lopez is proud of her roots and is using her celebrity — similar to Daddy Yankee — to raise awareness about the disaster which is largely being ignored by the US President.
”I will always be a New Yorker. I am a proud Puerto Rican. And I cannot tell you what it meant to me and the people of Puerto Rico to see New York not only pledge their support, but for Governor Cuomo to actually show up with resources and supplies. Nadia, you too. Governor, you sent a message to all Puerto Ricans that New Yorker stand with you. It is now time for all Americans to be front and center in helping to bring awareness and solutions to the task of rebuilding Puerto Rico. Thank you so much, Governor, for your leadership and your support for the people of Puerto Rico.”
At present, more than half of Puerto Rican citizens are without water. Food scarcity is a real concern, as is suitable housing situations. This conundrum will only be remedied if good-hearted citizens, such as yourself, donate to the cause.
h/t LA Times