Puerto Rico needs us desperately. Desperately de Socorro.
Through my work at Hostos Community College, I’m a part of The Bronx Coalition Supporting Hurricane Maria Evacuees. The BxCoSHME is composed of organizations representing a range of sectors. As organizations, it sprung from Union Community Health Center with Diaspora X Puerto Rico, Hostos Community College, Bronx Community College, NYC Department of the Aging, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, and Public Advocate Letitia James.
On 24 March a Bienvenida and Resource Fair held at Hostos’ gymnasium organized by the BxCoSHME, brought over 50 agencies covering a range of services and offerings. As much as it was about offering guidance, it was also about letting our Puerto Rican families know, they are not alone. There are many people behind-the-scenes working overtime on their dime to help. It is a beautiful display of solidarity and love. I stand with love and looking for ways to strengthen our ties and bring others on board.
Other coalition meetings have been taking place throughout the City. About two weeks ago, two different meetings took place in one week, theBxCOSHME and another, where the leadership of #OurPowerNYCpr and the Creative Justice Initiative with Speakers Elizabeth Yeampierre from UPROSE, Marta Moreno Vega from CCCADI, Nelson Denis, Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez, Perla De León, and others inspired action and an alliance of coalitions to come together for a cause.
At this meeting of about 100 people in-and-out, a few of the families came out and shared what they were going through. Two hats passed around and almost $2,000 in cash showed up for the families. The share illustrated how the displacement of hurricane refugees affects in a greater number women with children and vulnerable adults with various types of needs. Three women have stepped up as spokeswomen for themselves and the rest of the families: Sofia Miranda, Brenda Suarez, and Andrea Tejada Rivera. These women have been nurtured or guided by Victor Martínez, Surey Miranda-Alarcón, Luz Correa, Lilah Mejia, Lizette Colón, Ana López, and many others. At this meeting, we had Grand Dame Elba Cabrera, Nydia Edgecombe, Wally Edgecombe, Julio Pabón, Ruth Rodríguez, Minerva Urrutia and many many more behind-the-scenes champions. More things are being created and planned out by these groups and individuals and many more coming on board.
So much to stay. I’m feeling el colmo de los colomos. Revolting. It’s a slow death showing hues of done on purpose. A rude awakening to many. And, it’s way more and deeper still than all I can or care to express right now. I’m giving you the gist because this is a crisis.
A real serious crisis.
Crimes against humanity crisis.
Lost at sea crisis.
Below: Press Conference update and 2 Calls-for-Help
SEE | 19 April 2018 | City Hall steps press conference | Coalitions stand for Puerto Rican families living in FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance program:
EL DIARIO NY
CBS New York
NOTICIA LONG ISLAND
LITTLE GESTURES MATTER
Two (2) things you can do now to help
SEEKING: An organization or individual to donate Five (5) Nursing Books for Urban Health Plan.
+Let me know if you are interested in supporting and I’ll connect you. “I just want to ask if there is any organization you may be aware that can donate 5 nursing books (CLEP) for the nurses we have hired.”
LOOK OUT FOR Zulema Arroyo Farley - ArtzCureSarcoma
+I cut-and-pasted the most important part of her email.
“Don Fran is a 61-year-old, living in inhumane conditions in Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico, not far from where I grew up. He is battling vocal chords cancer. The surgery he had 3 weeks ago, has left him mute for life. He worked for over 30 years in the local municipality as a temporary employee Every new administration promised him a permanent position with health and retirement benefits, but each time he was misled. The government was more concerned about saving money. Consequently, he does not have private health care or a pension. The case reached my foundation two days ago.
No human being deserves to live like this and furthermore, it puts into perspective the fortunate lives we truly live.
While Don Fran heals from the surgery and awaits treatment, I have secured 20 volunteers who will spend one-day cleaning and organizing his house. One of our board members met with the mayor of the town today who promised to pick up all the debris surrounding his house from hurricane maria tomorrow. We have secured a few urgent things for him such as bedsheets, pillows, and converting his home from 110 to 220 watts (all appliances in Puerto Rico run on 220v), but I would like him to have a decent home prior to him starting his chemo regimen. A clean home, a clean stove, a refrigerator and a bed for him.
This is how you can help: a monetary donation to my foundation (tax deductible) OR I can tell you where to purchase what we need. The list of what we need is below:
- A roof
- A bathroom
- Kitchen Cabinets
- King Bed with Mattress Set
- Weekly groceries for soft foods and liquid diet
- Transportation to treatment (he is not allowed to drive)
- Bedroom Set (nightstand)
- Dining Table and Chairs
- Labor and materials for rebuilding his roof and bathroom which in turn will help a local business.
Where to donate? Click here ArtzCureSarcoma
We are all extremely privileged, so tonight instead of that bottle of wine, the new pair of shoes, or the restaurant dinner, how about making a donation and make a lasting impact on their lives.
Thank you to so many of you. That’s all I got for now. More to come.
Write to me, join us.