NEW BRUNSWICK - In a rare move, the two leading gubernatorial candidates have come together to voice support of a statewide charity designed to raise funds for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.
“New Jersey for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief” is sponsored and spearheaded by the Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey and leaders of New Jersey's half-million-strong Puerto Rican community to rally behind friends and family on the island suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and former Ambassador Phil Murphy both urged New Jerseyans to support the relief fund.
“The people of Puerto Rico face a long road ahead to return to normalcy, and they need our support,” Murphy said. “New Jerseyans coming together to do whatever is necessary and possible to help those in need shows the very best of our state. Together, we can make a difference, and can help Puerto Rico and its people begin to rebuild not just their island, but their lives.”
“This fund is just another example of what makes New Jersey great,” Guadagno added. “People from all parts of New Jersey, no matter their ethnic background or political slant, understand that this relief fund will be an enormous benefit to thousands of struggling Americans who live in the commonwealth.”
The relief fund, a non-profit, charitable entity with a 501c3 pending, is a one-stop source for people to donate directly to island-based charities. The fund is transparent and focused on delivering immediate, targeted aid.
Fund organizers say cash donations are encouraged, as opposed to in-kind donations that require sorting, boxing and logistical expense. Cash donations allow reputable organizations, such as the New Jersey for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief, to strategically support professional disaster relief agencies.
The coalition has partnered with the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico and others to get immediate aid to the people of Puerto Rico. The coalition has been working closely with commonwealth leaders; its honorary chair is former Puerto Rico Senate President Kenneth McClintock.
Coalition leaders hope the nascent effort will become a growing list of state officials, legislators, businesses, faith-based leaders and charities who can assist Puerto Rico in the difficult months and years to come.
To learn more about the relief fund, as well as the board members involved, please visit nj4pr.org. Donations are now being accepted through the site. Supporters can also call 1-833-NJ-HELPS.