Giving Back

“New Jersey for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief” Makes its First Donation

Christy Hodde, chapter executive of the American Red Cross, New Jersey, receives a $10,000 ceremonial check from retired Superior Court Judge Mathias Rodriguez, secretary of the relief fund. Credits: Jaffe Communications

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, lashing the island with 30 hours of Category 5 winds. By September 21, following an emergency conference call with 33 New Jersey leaders, “New Jersey for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief” was born.

Fund leaders gathered with elected officials today in Perth Amboy to present the American Red Cross with a $10,000 check, vowing that much more is being raised for the relief charity, as well as the Salvation Army of Puerto Rico and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico. Attendees shared stories of family and friends who are struggling to recuperate and rebuild. Many said they have yet to hear from loved ones who were caught in the eye of the hurricane more than two weeks ago.

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.

Sign Up for E-News

During an event today, hosted by Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz at the 1st Constitution Bank on Fayette Street, elected officials discussed the ongoing needs in Puerto Rico, especially in the western portion of the island, sections of which are still without power, water and food.

A ceremonial check was presented to Christy Hodde, chapter executive of the American Red Cross, New Jersey, which has dispatched 13 rescue workers to the commonwealth. Fund organizers were quick to note their ceremonial check was written with a dry erase marker, as it will be repeatedly used to present donations to many more charities in the coming weeks, months and years.

State Sen. Nellie Pou, representing Paterson, said Washington D.C. is quick to claim that everything is “hunky dory” in Puerto Rico, when everyone knows the real truth: People are still without basic necessities. Congress needs to treat the 3.5 million U.S. citizens living on the island just like any other Americans in desperate need of help, Pou said.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, who represents Elizabeth, agreed, adding there are container ships of food and water sitting in the harbor, rather than being transported directly to the towns and villages that have been devastated. “We are talking about peoples’ lives here,” she said. “This is not a political issue, but a people issue.”

Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, who represents Perth Amboy, said it is “truly remarkable” how quickly fund organizers have raised money and said it was critical to keep the plight of the commonwealth on the front page throughout the state.

“As American citizens, it is our moral duty to get them the care they need,” he said. “The people of Puerto Rico need and deserve our help.”

Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ron Rios said it is difficult to comprehend what is happening in Puerto Rico, noting that while his car has air conditioning, the people of Puerto Rico have been without climate control on humid days that easily climb over 90 degrees, such as in San Juan today.

“These are humans in need of care,” Rios said. “I can’t thank enough the people who have gotten involved to help. It is going to be a long time before people get their lives back together.”

The coalition has been working closely with commonwealth leaders; its honorary chair is former Puerto Rico Senate President Kenneth McClintock. At today’s event was McClintock’s son, Kevin McClintock, who brought words of appreciation.

McClintock said many grateful Americans in the commonwealth have been closely watching the New Jersey fund and calling it “an inspiration.” He said he is “proud that so many Puerto Rican leaders in New Jersey care about the Puerto Rican community on the island.”

“When the Puerto Rican community bans together, there is nothing that we can’t accomplish,” McClintock said. “It is up to all of us in the diaspora to force Congress to act. Congress has committed to $13 billion in aid. But there is $100 billion in damage. We need a lot more help.”

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.

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.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - October 17, 2017

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

NEWARK - The stars keep coming. Phil Murphy is calling in plenty of favors as a leading Democratic fundraiser, as all the stars of the Democratic Party are steadily streaming into New Jersey to stump for him as governor. There was Joe Biden. There was Al Gore. And now, TAPInto Newark reports, that Barack Obama will be at the Robert Treat Hotel ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, October 19, 7:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Families Like Yours

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, October 21, 9:00 AM

South County Park, Lambertville

Flemington Speedway Historical Society Annual Car ...

Arts & Entertainment Other

Sat, October 21, 9:00 AM

South County Park, Lambertville

Flemington Speedway Historical Society Annual Car ...

Arts & Entertainment Other

Rutgers student sexually assaulted in College Avenue dorm room

October 16, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A female student affiliated with the university was reportedly sexually assaulted when a man randomly walked into her dorm room on October 13, according to police.

The assault happened at around 4:30 p.m. in Mettler Hall on College Avenue, Rutgers police said in a university-wide crime alert.

The victim was sitting in her room with the door open, when an unknown man ...

University eyeing former VP as potential commencement speaker

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Following the appearance of former Vice President Joe Biden at the Rutgers College Avenue Gym on October 12, the university is eyeing Biden as the potential 2018 commencement speaker.

The former vice president had dropped the rumor while taking selfies with students following his appearance, according to a post on the Rutgers subreddit.

Rutgers officials confirmed ...

9 events happening in New Brunswick this week

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - It finally feels like fall, and Halloween is fast approaching, so grab your pumpkin-spice latte and check out some of the Fall-themed and spooky events happening around the Hub City.  (If you have any great upcoming events in New Brunswick, please email me at dmunoz@tapinto.net)

And here we go:

October 17

The Yard @ College Avenue is hosting its annual Fall ...

South Brunswick Police Offering Reward For Gas Station Shooting Information

October 16, 2017

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Police, in conjunction with Middlesex County, are offering a reward for information regarding Sunday morning’s shooting during a botched robbery at a Route 27 gas station that left the attendant in serious condition.

In a press release Monday afternoon, Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka said the department is offering a reward for information about the robbery ...

DACA renewal deadline for undocumented residents coming Oct. 5

October 4, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Oct. 5 is the deadline for undocumented immigrants to renew their DACA status, a program which protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

DACA, short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama-era program which allows those who entered the country illegally as children to obtain work authorization and a temporary halt on ...

OPINION

A Call to Action on Healthcare

September 24, 2017

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

On July 29, 2016, one week after my 41st birthday, with no warning, I experienced a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. SCAD is an uncommon heart condition that causes arteries in the heart to tear, leading to a blockage of the artery, and, in my case, a heart attack.  I HAVE NO KNOWN RISK FACTORS FOR HEART DISEASE.  

I am a mother of two young ...

DIGroup Expands to Better Serve Healthcare Market

October 16, 2017

New Brunswick, New Jersey –DIGroupArchitecture, LLC, an award-winning, full-service architecture, interior design, and graphic design firm is pleased to announce the addition of several key members to the team, from Principal level leadership to design and construction administration professionals. Together, they enhance the services DIG provides to its Healthcare clients.

Kurt ...

No Government Shutdown for Now, But Medicaid Remains at Risk

October 2, 2017

While federal lawmakers avoided a government shutdown this fall, the next budget battle is just months away. Because Congress approved only a short-term fix, leaders will need to once again negotiate a spending plan and the debt ceiling.

Despite the recent bipartisan deal, Medicaid remains a primary target for budget cuts.

People with disabilities, advocates, and concerned citizens deserve ...