Second Update From Puerto Rico

From Astrid via Instagram:


We had the nicest surprise at the Post Office today. 10 boxes with both personal care packages (sent by family and friends) and Amazon donations. Thank you!! We’re now in the process of making an inventory/dividing all we got so we can hand in donations. Thank you thank you thank you!

I try private messaging everyone that sends donations with gift receipts (since I get a name in them) but since they aren’t all FB friends with me they can’t all see my messages. :( Others I don’t have a name since Amazon will only do that if you add the gift receipt. If you see your or someone else’s donation and haven’t received a message from me, feel free to inbox me.

Your kindness makes my heart melt every time we get a package, and even more when we are able to hand them to those who need it most. THANK YOU!

To keep us going, here’s ways to donate:

Amazon wish-list:
Amazon gift cards:
Mail: Artistikem PO BOX 7225 Caguas PR 00726-7225
ATH Móvil: 787-366-5068

PayPal donations so far: $155 which have been used for groceries/supplies we can find here like UHT milk, potted meats, rice, oil, plastic cups and plates, cereal, pasta (although inventory was low at 2 supermarkets yesterday), crackers, drinking water gallons (rationed), bread, sugar, salt, tomato sauce, toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, etc. Some of them have had a spike in price but shipping them may cost too much.

I’ll keep you all updated. Much love!! <3 🇵🇷💪 #hurricaneMariaRelief #PuertoRico

Via Gmail:

At least we have a generator but use it for only 5 hours every day. We aren’t buy meats because 1. We don’t believe supermarkets are keeping their generators on 24/7, 2. Our fridge is cool, not freezing anything. I don’t even know what ice is anymore. Some fast foods even have limited menus. Oh, and today our main newspaper Nuevo Día/Primera Hora fired 60 employees and gave leaves without pay to the rest. Everyone is losing income, one way or another.

The New York Times: ‘Like Going Back in Time’: Puerto Ricans Put Survival Skills to Use

More than a month after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico on a path of destruction that spared no region, race or class, residents of the island have found their creativity stretched to the limit as they try to function without many amenities of the modern world.

It is not just water and electricity that are in scarce supply. Cellphone service ranges from spotty to nonexistent. Cars are damaged and roads blocked. For many, work and school still have not resumed, so they wander the streets, play board games and sit around telling stories by candlelight.

“It’s like going back in time,” said Kevin Jose Sanchez Gonzalez, 25, who has been living in darkness since Sept. 5, the day before a previous storm, Hurricane Irma, began to chip away at Puerto Rico’s electrical grid.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

If you think your donations won’t make a difference, this:

Lorel Cubano, the director of a local nonprofit, said most of the aid the neighborhood had received was from private citizens and celebrities like Mr. Fonsi. “The government hasn’t arrived here,” she said.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Quartz: Yes, Puerto Rico pays federal taxes. Here’s how much

In fact, Puerto Rican tax dollars help fund the federal government, including FEMA. Though they don’t owe taxes on individual income, like other Americans, Puerto Ricans pay business, payroll, and estate taxes. Here’s what the Internal Revenue Service has collected from the island in recent years.

That’s more than $20 billion channeled to the same coffers that keep the Trump administration running, just $2 billion shy of what the state of Vermont contributed in taxes during the same period.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

As we approach the holiday season, the sense of deprivation will grow even worse. And if the donations decrease, the misery there will increase.

Don’t be fooled by the packages Astrid received. That’s just a small fraction of what’s still needed. See the Amazon Wish List that shows what’s still needed.

Please help!

Previously here:

An Update From Puerto Rico
Amazon Wish List For Hurricane Maria Relief In Puerto Rico

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