A number of organizations in Chicago are trying to help people devastated by the category 4 hurricane in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico. Many of them, like Casa Puertorriquena, are trying to find a solution on how to make its donations reach the island. Many of the island's residents could be without electricity for months. Luis Arroyo, the state Representative, has asked the private sector to step forward using their own transport supply network.
Officials of United Airlines have confirmed that the airline company has already made deliveries of three complete planeloads of much-needed supplies to the island during September. One of the groups engaged in collecting supplies is Puerto Rican Agenda. The latter is a conglomerate of a number of civic organizations, like Puerto Rican Cultural Center. According to Cristina Pacione Zayas of the Agenda, her organization had already begun to make short-term and long-term plans for helping Puerto Rico in times of emergencies.
Mexico got struck by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, killing an untold number of people. Mexico City officials, the Red Cross, and business leaders observed one moment of silence for the earthquake victims under the Tiffany Dome of Chicago Cultural Center. This is natural as many Chicagoans trace their ancestry to Mexico. People like Sam Sanchez, a restaurateur and member of Illinois Restaurant Association, has requested other small, medium and big companies to assist in their fundraising efforts. A few of his workers have families in Mexico. The latter has requested time off from their duties to raise money for the victims of the earthquake.
Relief and donations
Relief efforts are being streamlined by Celena Roldan, CEO, Chicago and Northern Illinois Red Cross. She said that her organization accepts donations solely of the monetary kind. The funds donated for Mexico will help organize approximately 170 shelters for the displaced. About 200 volunteers of the Red Cross are already on the ground due to Hurricane Irma. Another batch of volunteers is trying to reach Puerto Rico during the last days of September itself.
According to Pacione Zayas, Puerto Rican Agenda was able to mobilize a benefits package only a few days after the island was struck by Hurricane Maria. Almost $67,000 was garnered. The majority of them comes from National Museums of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. A percentage of the money collected was utilized to purchase bottled water and diapers.