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The number of recent hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and more is simply hard to comprehend. It can feel overwhelming. It is overwhelming. However, people can overcome almost anything if they work together and look for solutions, and that is exactly what is happening with a group of AV Geeks turned relief workers in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Right after the storm, a small group of folks in the US “chartered a small, elderly prop plane with a goal of raising $10,000 and 7,000 pounds of supplies to fill the plane”. This group had contacts on the island armed with satellite phones and trucks to facilitate direct delivery of the supplies, so they weren’t just going to bring items with nowhere to take them. They were going to be the A to Z relief workers for these supplies from collection to transport to delivery.
After just a couple of days they had money, supplies, a plane, contacts, and special permits, but at the last minute, the charter operator canceled the first scheduled flight. Thankfully, these are connected folks, and they had also been reaching out to contacts at airlines, and Spirit came through providing the wings they needed to get help to Puerto Rico.
All the while the donations of supplies and cash climbed into the six figures and the payload reached over 50,000 pounds of relief supplies. This ad-hoc charity of sorts mushroomed very quickly into something much bigger and better than they could have imagined.
They are now working to create hundreds of 40-pound individual care package boxes filled with food and hygiene supplies to last a family for a week. They’re also making special boxes for families with babies filled with diapers and formula. These are being hand delivered by their team on the ground in Puerto Rico, so again this is stuff that is quickly getting into the hands of those that need it.
In addition to donations, they are also looking for help today and this weekend preparing the boxes and supplies to head to Puerto Rico. If you are in Miami, you can head today, Saturday, and Sunday to 3550 NW 59th Street from 1PM – 8PM to lend a hand and give these folks a big high-five for what they are doing.
The needs can feel so large and intimidating, but we can all work together to make it better one donation and 40 lbs supply box at a time.
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