How to help people in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola via WPVI logo
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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Hurricane Fiona cut power and water service for most of Puerto Rico's 3.1 million residents and also left the Dominican Republic in ruins.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Puerto Rico remained in the dark Tuesday night, struggling to recover from Hurricane Fiona.

This is all happening on the same day it is marking the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria. There are hard lessons learned from Maria that should inform how we all try to help Fiona's victims and their families.

Hurricane Fiona cut power and water service for most of Puerto Rico's 3.1 million residents and also left the Dominican Republic in ruins. And, as is always the case, we know people in the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys want to do what they can to help. So, the Troubleshooters did some digging to find the people and organizations we know will put your donations to the best use.

Wanda Mora posted video on Instagram in the wake of Maria.

"It was a very, very traumatic experience," she said.

Five years ago, on September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, killing her father.

"In loving memory of my father, Jose Mora."

Mora talked about how she is feeling watching the images of the devastation.

"My sister lives there still my nieces and nephew," she said. "It is definitely heartbreaking to watch."

When asked how important it is for people to choose wisely when giving their money, Mora had this to say.

"It's super, super important," she said. "I do want to urge people, you know not to make the same mistake that we made with Hurricane Maria."

Mora says so many people stepped up to help the victims, but, in too many cases, the donations didn't help the people who needed it most. She hopes this time donors are more judicious about where their money goes.

"I have grassroots organizations wanting particularly that worked with me during Hurricane Maria," she said. "Stronger than Maria or Somos Puerto Rico 100% of the money goes to the people, 100% of the money."

Other local organizations coordinating fundraising and donation efforts include Philadelphia-based Concilio and Unidos Pa Puerto Rico.

Community members started Unidos Pa Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and they are now seeking volunteers to help with Hurricane Fiona.

"I would like to say to the Puerto Rican people, we are not going to abandon you you're not alone. And we will be there to help," Mora said.

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