Huntington Mobilizes To Help Puerto Rico
Town provides ways to donate supplies, funds
The Town of Huntington is partnering with two groups, one local and the other national, to make it easier for Town residents to provide support for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards announced today.
Speaking at a news conference at the Huntington Opportunity Resource Center on behalf of herself and her Town Board colleagues, Councilwoman Edwards announced that the Town will accept donations of specific needed supplies at the center, 1264 New York Avenue, and that residents could donate funds to the American Red Cross Hurricane Maria relief effort directly through the Town’s website, www.HuntingtonNY.gov.
“We are a giving community,” Councilwoman Edwards said. “We have always responded, and I am absolutely confident that the people in our community will respond to support people who critically need these supplies to survive. We are asking all Town of Huntington residents, both businesses and our community members, to help.”
The details of the supplies donation were worked out by Edwin Perez and the Long Island Hispanic Business Roundtable, with whom the Town is partnering in the effort. After speaking with Councilwoman Edwards, he reached out to Liberty Moving and Storage, which agreed to pick up the items collected at the resource center and deliver them to a central facility in Hauppauge, overseen by the New York National Guard as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Stands with Puerto Rico initiative. “People have reached out and asked if I was going to do anything for my American homeland, Puerto Rico,” he said. After learning of Huntington’s willingness to provide whatever assistance was needed, he said, “I was able to reach out to my network and say, ‘Huntington is standing with Puerto Rico.’”
“These people really need a lot of things” said Rosa Moya, representing Latinos Unidos de Huntington. “People are panicked. They are getting very frustrated. If we can do something for them, trust me, it will be very appreciated. This is the time we need to step up for Puerto Rico.”
Specifically needed are bottled water, batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, diapers, baby wipes and feminine hygiene products. They may be dropped off at the resource center during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. After hours donations may be made by appointment, by calling Councilwoman Edwards’ office at 631-351-3175.
To donate to the Red Cross, go to the Town’s website, www.huntingtonny.gov, and click on the big red heart at the top of the home page. That will take people to the Huntington microsite on the Red Cross web page. Follow the prompts. There is a drop-down menu allowing to you choose where you want your donation earmarked. The default drop down is for the Hurricane Maria effort. Money can also be earmarked for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The Red Cross reports that nearly 400 Red Cross workers in Puerto Rico are helping to reconnect families and distribute critical relief supplies, including food and water. International Red Cross workers are restoring connectivity for people impacted by the hurricane and for humanitarian workers on the ground, installing satellites that are enabling Puerto Ricans to reconnect with family members, charge their phones and access information. The satellites and technology also help aid workers as they coordinate relief efforts.
In coordination with government and non-profit partners, the Red Cross is helping to distribute water, ready-to-eat meals, fresh fruit and vegetables, tarps and comfort kits. Emergency distribution of water has been provided to several vulnerable communities which were running out of water. The Red Cross has already mobilized more than 250 tractor-trailer loads of relief supplies to help Puerto Rico. Red Cross teams are also assessing what communities need, and providing health and mental health services.
The Red Cross has provided more than 1,000 blood and platelet products to help hospitals the Red Cross does not typically supply. These supplies are in addition to ongoing blood product distributions to Red Cross hospital partners in Puerto Rico.