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Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:50 am
by partofit22
Hello, Everyone- There is a group on Facebook called:

Loved Ones In Puerto Rico - Check In

It's purpose is to help people connect with loved ones, to share the details, photos and encourage those that have made contact to reach out to others who haven't- No political conversation or posts-

My extended family member has family in Puerto Rico- Contact was finally made but brief because the calls keep dropping- They've no electricity, no running water, support has yet to reach them, the roads are impassable- They had no idea what was taking place on the rest of the island- They've been getting their drinking water by walking to a natural spring and to a near by river to bathe-

They live in Jardines de Jacaguas, Juana Diaz- Another person in the group mentioned above was looking to make contact with her aunt that lives in the same sector, so I passed her aunts name along to my family who will pass it along to family in Puerto Rico who will hopefully make contact with the aunt and I in turn can contact the other person to let her know of her aunts whereabouts and well being-

And that's pretty much how the group works- I hope a few of you will be interested in lending a hand-

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:56 am
by partofit22
Also volunteer HAM operators have set up informal radio networks for the same purpose, to connect family members and friends-

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:27 am
by Linda Anderson
Sadly, there is no cell, internet or electricity in Puerto Rico.... and shamefully little help coming from the US to their citizens..... 3.5 million people. Food and water is what is needed!!!!

I am ashamed of this country's response.

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:28 am
by Michaeljc
For the first few days after such an event airdrops are usually the only option as roads are usually blocked. If it is rainy weather the most important item is tarpaulins. They are light and can be dropped in the thousands.

It always takes time for real relief to kick in, 2 weeks or more. But, who has the greatest impact? - the people themselves. The resilience in human nature is astonishing. Ironically, the group that bounce back first is the poor. They quickly knock up shelter and know how to scratch around for food. Life gets back to normal pretty quick.

The real challenge comes a few months down the track when the community starts running out of stored food. Often, crops and other sources of food are destroyed. Along with this comes lack of income. There is no cash running through the system.

If contributors want real bang for buck I suggest that they wait. First response is best left to the big guns. Its the rebuild phase starting 6 months down the track that really matters. There will be projects like rebuilding schools, health centers and infrastructure.

The way I have seen it.


Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:09 pm
by partofit22
Linda, cell service is spotty but people are using their cars, 9 volt batteries and other ways to charge their cell phones- Many photos are being uploaded to the group I mentioned- As Michael indicated, areas that have yet to receive support are clearing their own roads, finding natural sources of water and food- Theyre resillient- You will learn much more regarding the actual circumstances by joining the group than you would by watching the news- The Red Cross has a similar web page were you can enter survivors names into a data base as well as a search feature to look names up- Both provide comfort, the group and the connect feature offered by the Red Cross-

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:47 pm
by Linda Anderson
That maybe Teresa, it took enormous public pressure for DT to send the hospital ship Comfort.... the island is a stone's throw from the US.... the US has been treating Puerto Rico as a second class citizen since 1920... they have ripped the country off and put it into bankruptcy ..... look at the Jones Act in detail. No foreign ships can enter PR.... everything is off loaded and re-loaded in Jacksonville, FL.... at huge profits for the US.... follow the $$$. Did you notice how DT said the shpping companies wouldn't be happy....

yes, they are resiliant. The mayor was pleading for food and water ... she said they will get it no matter what.

This is what DT tweeted from his golf club:

...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They....

and this:


Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:04 pm
by partofit22
Linda, when a large hunk of lard with arms and some semblance of a head comes careening around the corner in an SUV and proceeds to lean on its horn because I am already more than halfway out of a parking space and in its way? Yes, you are free to imagine what my chant during such a circumstance might be -- privately, not to "its" face-

But when someone suggests that protests are an infringement on others rights "to be" because protests impede the flow of traffic? I've no reservations asking them why that might be, how it's ok when a former president comes to speak the streets are blocked off, or when fans on game day add to the usual noon time rush resulting in it taking an hour and half to get a falafel that takes less than 2 minutes to pay for and be on ones way-

As you say, follow the money- But it's also important is to follow nature, too- It's been noted that the cocui in Puerto Rico have been migrating away from the once wide beach coastline and moving inland- It's also been noted in the past that billions of dollars have been given to Puerto Rico for the specific purpose of preparing for catastrophe-

The purpose of the two services I mentioned, the Red Cross and the Facebook group, is to provide comfort- And I admit that bitching about shit also provides comfort too- I'm happy you've no reservations about such-

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:06 pm
by Linda Anderson
no reservations

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:43 pm
by partofit22
Good! :)

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:00 pm
by Guo Gu
i have used this site to decipher which organization actually give most of the money to victims: ... &cpid=5356
red cross is a big organization, so lots of overhead expenses. i've found others on this site that give more to those effected and donated to them instead of red cross.
another option to help.
guo gu

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:09 am
by Michaeljc
In response to Guo Gu's post I would say in identifying an organisation to which to give money, that it is a very complex question. One would need to spend hours studying each organisation to make an informed decision. The number of private NGOs have snowballed over the last 20 years. Many are small, which can be a good thing or a bad. Yes, small NGOs that rely on volunteers can have low overheads but what one needs to look at the actual impact of money spent.

I recall during Typhoon relief in the Philippines that there were really only 3 relief organisations that had the financial grunt and expertise to make a real impact. There were a number of small NGO's hovering around trying to find something useful to do. Invariably they would end up offering 'soft' aid. This includes education and coordination. No real aid.

Real aid needs doctors, nurses, engineers, logistics experts, admin experts. managers and yes HARDWARE ie trucks, drivers, cars and sometimes aircraft. Add to this materials and medicines. This means higher overheads'.

Volunteers don't stay in the field long. Paid staff in the likes of Red Cross often work 12 month contracts. I have seen a number of situations where volunteers are thrown into the field and then get stuck in a camp with no ready budgets or logistical means to make an impact. Their head offices would take weeks to approve a proposal. A really disturbing practice is that so many organisations roam the countryside doing assessment upon assessment. This build false hope, then skepticism within the communities.

Within 3 days of Typhoon Pablo, Philippines, my own organisation, International Committee of Red Cross (not to be confused with American Red Cross) was throwing thousands of tarpaulins out of aircraft and had consignments of essential goods leave by air from Europe. Ya cant do that with volunteers and limited budgets.

Admittedly I got smart, but I knew that I could get the funds for my proposed interventions within 3 days providing each project stayed within USD 4000. From 4000 - 30,000 could take 2 weeks. So, I went hard out doing rapid-response until being asked by bosses to do a bigger job. I commonly would have 6 water projects progressing at one time by using local contractors.

Another major issue is access. One cannot go roaming around the country giving out aid willy nilly. One needs approval from authorities. Credibility and a track record matters.

In reality the most important departments in an aid organisation are administration, communication and logistics. From out of this base the hands-on professionals can operate.

Just some of the considerations. Happy hunting :)


Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:36 pm
by Guo Gu
hi michael,
yes, that's true for volunteer based organizations. of course not all org there are volunteer based and it doesn't take hours to sort out what is what. the chart formed analysis/break-down of the org are quite useful.
thanks for alerting us to the issues with small ngos.
be well,
guo gu

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:44 pm
by Spike
Looking for a trustworthy charity supporting Rohingya refugees. Sorry, halfway off topic at least.

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:37 am
by Michaeljc
Spike -

MSF are about as good as one can find IMO. French organisation with very professional staff who only draw a living allowance. They can be found in all the real need zones including those in conflict. ... ns-myanmar



Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:11 am
by Spike
Thank you for the recommendation and link. MSF has always seemed to be totally above board. I am glad they are involved here. Easy for me to donate.

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:37 am
by Linda Anderson
As Guo Gu pointed out... the International Red Cross is not the same organization as the American Red Cross... this is an important distinction....

now... the American Red Cross... so sad, my mother worked for them in the early 60's when I was a school girl and my father had died ...

That said.... I am focused on the US response as a country.... and in contrast to the response in TX and FL.

I will continue my rant with no reservations .... it is more than disgusting that the leader of this country tossed rolls of paper towels into the crowd in Puerto Rico to people who are suffering... AND COMPLAINED THAT THEY ARE COSTING HIM TOO MUCH MONEY, AFFECTING HIS BUDGET..


In case anyone has forgotten, not that it matters a whit when ppl are suffering .... Puerto Ricans are AMERICAN CITIZENS............. and I don't give a damn if you think they should have been prepared.... and that might somehow justify not helping.

ofc, it is essential that you don't think much of the bells and whistles and all those pretty lights... look to the source. Nothing is as it appears.

Thank you for listening, if you did.


PS.... the distinction of Intl and Am Red Cross was lost in a previous thread

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:32 am
by Michaeljc
Some explanation:

There is the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). While they collaborate to some degree they are quite different entities.

ICRC works primarily in conflict zones and won't normally intervene in the likes of a natural disaster in a peaceful country.

IFRC is a federation of all the Red Cross organisations in the various countries. They do most of their direct work in natural disaster zones and rely much more on local fundraising than ICRC. They also often supply some personnel to ICRC and pay the greater part of their salaries.

ICRC's funding is mostly from Governments. This is due to its long association with the Geneva Convention and its ability to be a kind of custodian in a neutral manner. e.g. most prisoner exchanges are handled by ICRC - as are most prisoner visits when allowed.

ICRC's budget is $1 billion +. IFRC's is significantly less than this

In a nutshell the performance of Red Cross is very country-specific. In contrast, ICRC is under strick control of head office Geneva. I used to call it a military organisation behind a humanitarian face. It needs to be. It works in some pretty hairy places.

And who pays the highest salaries to humanitarian field workers? - the UN by far. $100,000 + /yr is very normal


Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:09 am
by partofit22
An organization called Feeding Children Everywhere is looking for volunteers in the Orlando, FL area to help package meal kits that will be shipped to directly to FEMA for immediate distribution-

Event Information

We are in urgent need for thousands of volunteers to help package 4.4 million meal kits for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. The Orlando Cares Hope for Puerto Rico disaster relief project is a month-long event that will take place at the Orange County Convention Center. The meal kits are being shipped directly to FEMA for immediate distribution to the children and families devastated by the storms this year.

Puerto Rico is facing one of the largest natural disasters our country has ever seen and our community has a unique opportunity to band together to provide relief for those who need it so desperately. There are many open shifts available over the next four weeks, keep checking back to find the shift that works for you. These shifts are open to all! So fly, drive, take a bus, and bring a neighbor to help!

This is a family friendly event, all ages are welcomed!

Orange County Convention Center – North Concourse (NA2)
9400 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:38 am
by Linda Anderson
Here's the latest...... this was posted on Bernie Sanders's Facebook page 3 hours ago....

Sander's quote:
At a time when over 80% of people on Puerto Rico still don’t have electricity, and when many don’t have access to food and medicine, President Trump threatened to withdraw federal relief workers from the island. He must be unaware that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, and as such its citizens are entitled to the same federal emergency assistance as American citizens in Texas, Florida or Vermont. Let me be clear: The full resources of the United States must be brought to bear on this humanitarian crisis, for as long as is necessary, to help our fellow citizens. Congress must move as quickly as possible to pass a disaster relief package for Puerto Rico and the region.

and the article he referenced..... Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort

if you choose to read the article below and watch the video, you will see the Paper Towel Phenomena.

Well-intentioned organizations looking for volunteers are not what is needed here.

Re: Puerto Rico - How You Can Help

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:18 am
by partofit22
Everyone is needed- And no effort is too small to be considered insignificant or not appreciated by the people of Puerto Rico-