This is a personal request for support.
Hi, all. Many of you know the dire situation in which Puerto Rico finds itself, after the catastrophic impact of Hurricane María and the height of an economic crisis. This is a humanitarian crisis.
My family lives in the island. They went through the intense 12 hours of devastatingly strong winds, holding on to the doors, watching water enter through windows and doors. The explosive noises of the wind picking up debris and tossing it against walls, tearing off parts of buildings, tearing down trees. The island is unrecognizable; barely any trees left. People’s homes torn apart. Resources scarce. Sickness is spreading. Politics are getting in the way and supplies aren’t getting to those in need. Its been one month after the hurricane and 3 million people still have no power. About 50,000 have already left the island in the past four weeks. 900+ people have died. The only reliable efforts are grassroots initiatives that are stepping up and caring for their people, their neighbors. Artists setting up communal kitchens. Neighbors taking care of each other. Before rebuilding, basic needs must be met and consistent communication reestablished.
This is an ask for support. My family resilient; they have built their own water collection system, but water is contaminated in the island. They need water filters. They have an old gasoline generator which is dying, plus gasoline is a scarce commodity at this point. A solar power kit would help them immensely. My goal is to get three solar energy kits: One for my parents, one for my maternal grandparents, and one for my paternal grandparents. Each of these will not only service each household, but they will also give them the capacity to support others in their respective neighborhoods by liberating them from some of the challenges they face on a daily basis. They also need water filters and other essentials. Seeds are also a necessity, as most of their crops have been lost and they will need to rebuild. They shouldn’t continue sustaining themselves with canned and preserved food that will only cause more health problems in the long run. A few friends have already reached out to me to check in and offer support directly for my family. A big thank you, for their generosity.
A photo of my dad building a water collection system in our home in Corozal, Puerto Rico. #CaribbeanWisdom 🌴🇵🇷 Note: Puerto Rico’s real name is Boriken, its original Arawak Taino name. It means Land of the Brave and Noble Lords.🌴🌴🌴 #indigenoussovereignty
My goal is to raise $5000, to cover for:
- Three solar power kits: three generator batteries that are sold in the island. They are over priced, but more affordable than shipping them over and risking their loss. $275 each. Parts to complete the solar kit: $500 each. Solar panels. $450. Total per kit: $1225. Total for three: $3,675.
- Water filters
- Solar powered fans
- 1 set of Walkie Talkies
- Water Filters
- Solar Lanterns
- Solar Radio
- 3 First Aid Kits
- Mosquito Nets
- Bottled Water
These supplies will be delivered in person, either by myself or my close friends who are traveling to the island to deliver supplies personally. And my father will be trained in setting up and using the solar kits, so he can teach others.
By when: Two weeks. This is urgent.
Why did I take so long to ask? I lost communication with my family and finally connected with them 12 days after the hurricane. On top of this, secure arrival of resources and supplies was uncertain. This has been a dystopian novel come to life.
If I exceed the goal: Extra funds will go toward airfare for me to bring my parents here so they can come spend two weeks with me and rest, reset, and I can personally help them take supplies back to the island. Note: The proven best way to send supplies is by taking them personally, in baggage/carry ons. Otherwise, supplies are held at the airport or confiscated.
Please send donations via the PayPal link below. If you prefer to support with a check or cash, please email me: sheyriv[a]gmail.com. I chose to not run a GoFundMe campaign to avoid an excess of fees. But I will be as transparent as possible with the funds collected and how they are used. I’ve already been able to raise $740, through three generous individuals.
I’m thankful to be surrounded by generous people who are willing to support direct action toward positive social change.
Forever grateful, for helping my family rebuild.
Photos of my town of Corozal, post-Hurricane María:
Visit the FANTASY ISLAND Installation: