It’s been over two months since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico. As the worst natural disaster to hit the region in nearly 100 years, the hurricane destroyed homes, and knocked out all electricity, affecting the 3.4 million people who live there. Still today, only 46.6% of Puerto Rico has electrical power and it could take months to fully restore electricity to the territory.
A loyal customer of The Flag Shop, Jose Rivera decided to do something to help. As a champion of this important cause, Jose led a fundraising event, which took place last month. With a sister and many personal connections in Puerto Rico, he first saw the plight of the people when he visited in January. Of this experience, he said, “This is a poor island country with very few resources, and the US government does not do enough to help.” He adds, “Even before Hurricane Maria, the country had many struggles, which are now magnified in the wake of the hurricane.”
Jose remembers first coming to The Flag Shop 10 years ago when he needed an El Salvador flag, to pay homage to his home county. For the fundraiser, he knew it would be important to honour the people of Puerto Rico by prominently displaying the Puerto Rico flag as a symbol of national strength, unity and pride.
The Flag Shop is so grateful to Jose for the opportunity to support the event by donating the flag rentals and supplying Canada/Puerto Rico friendship pins on a consignment basis. The special evening was attend by 160+ guests, at our neighbour’s, Andina, a craft beer brewery, which is close enough to see from our window. We heard Andina donated the event venue and, as if that were not enough, they also donated $1 for every drink and food item sold.
Additional relief and future security for the people of Puerto Rico is expected to be announced today. US Senator, Bernie Sanders will introduce a $146 billion recovery plan for Puerto Rico which is expected to provide for renewable energy, including wind and solar power, all within this decade. The bill also provides for billions of dollars in additional funding for education, transportation and health care.
Congratulations to Jose and team, and all those in the community who supported this effort, together raising $9158.20 sent through ConPRmetidos, to bring much-needed relief to the people of Puerto Rico.