Environment and Energy, Features, Health and Safety, New York

NYC Providing Aid to Puerto Rico

January 2, 2018

By Leonard Golubchick

NEW YORK, NY —A public-private partnership has provided over $1.5 million worth of supplies ­– including clothing, bedding and other home goods – to residents displaced by Hurricane Maria, which struck Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, over $200,000 has been pledged from New Yorkers through the Mayor’s Fund website and voluntary payroll donations from NYC employees. “It’s moments like these when I’m most proud of this city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Not only have we welcomed those displaced from Hurricane Maria into our city and our homes, New Yorkers from every borough have also donated to help ensure they’re comfortable once they get here. It’s that spirit that makes New York City the best city in the world.”

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, New Yorkers have shown time and time again that they are willing to come together to help Puerto Rico – whose residents are still struggling with lack of water, electricity, and basic living supplies,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am proud to lead Council efforts to assist the island as it continues to rebuild. In addition to the $200,000 donated by New Yorkers, over $1.5 million worth of supplies will be contributed through the joint effort of the Council, the Mayor’s Office, and community partners, and we will help support Puerto Rico in whatever way possible going forward.”

Immediately following Hurricane Maria, the City began collecting donations of critically-needed supplies at firehouses, EMS stations, and police stations across the five boroughs, as well as working with other organizations that collected donations, as well. Over 420 tons – or 840,000 pounds – of critically-needed supplies, including batteries, first-aid kits, diapers, baby food, feminine hygiene products and water have been collected.

The Mayor’s Fund has been working with Delivering Good, Macy’s and Target to provide new winter clothing, bedding, household and other goods totaling $1.5 million to address the unmet needs of displaced Puerto Ricans and residents of the US Virgin Islands through the Hurricane Evacuee Service Center (HESC).Since the Service Center opened, the New York Disaster Interfaith Services has been conducting interviews and needs assessments with displaced families. NYDIS estimates that approximately 5,000 new Puerto Rican and US Virgin Island residents in New York currently have unmet needs in terms of basic clothing and household supplies – and that number is expected to increase during the next 6-12 months as more individuals arrive.

The partnership also includes Macy’s, which donated 800 coats valued at $40,000, and Target provided $10,000 in gift cards to support families with school-age children in need of clothing and school supplies. All these provisions will be distributed through a marketplace operated by NYDIS and will be serviced in coordination with New York City’s Hurricane Service Center. The Mayor’s Fund has pledged up to $26,000 to Delivering Good to support these efforts, as well as an initial $15,000 to support NYDIS and the Salvation Army’s early work to bridge immediate clothing and shoe needs. The Salvation Army is also providing warehouse space and delivery support to NYDIS’ Marketplace.

“Once again, New Yorkers have come together to support others in need.  Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands faces a long road to recovery and we must do everything in our power to support evacuees from Hurricane Maria who come to New York City seeking security and support.  Today we announce a public private partnership to give our new neighbors critical necessities they need.  Thank you to our generous partners Delivering Good, Macy’s, Target, NYDIS and others who have come together to represent the best of New York City,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships.

January 2, 2018

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