Philadelphia grassroots effort helps raise funds for Puerto Rico earthquake victims

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On one of the largest national stages, with millions of fans watching, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira delivered a powerhouse performance during the Super Bowl halftime show in Miami.

While fans agreed there was no shortage of memorable moments, one in particular resonated with audiences in Philadelphia: the prominent display of the Puerto Rican flag.

"I think it was a powerful message and music provides a forum and I think, in this case I think, J.Lo and Shakira did right by us," said councilman Maria Quinnes- Sanchez.

On that same note, Monday at City Hall, Puerto Rican community leaders announced a new effort to help disaster-stricken areas of the island in the midst of earthquakes.

Starting with the reactivation of a grassroots campaign that began more than two years ago after hurricanes María and Irma.

"I guess you never rest. You always keep going. We reactivated the group and here we are today to tell you what is our plans," said Rev. Bonnie Camarda with the Salvation Army.

Unidos Pa'PR initially raised around $400,000 by leaders and allies in the state.

Committee leaders now hoping to repeat that success with an upcoming radiothon.

"We feel that this is a wonderful mechanism to engage people, to involve people and to provide a way of people feeling they're doing something within their means," said Taller Puertoriqueno's Dr. Carmen Febo-San Miguel.

The fundraising campaign expected to take place Sunday.

Among the community partners, Einstein Medical Center and utility company, PECO.

"We are internally having a fundraiser where we're collecting cash from everybody within the PECO building," said Daniel Estrada.

For many in the room, the effort is personal and hope that the spotlight on the island and its more than 3 million people doesn't fade soon.

"Puerto Ricans and Latinos and our allies need to vote for Puerto Rico, they need to be with Puerto Rico and this is one way we inform people about the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico," added Quinones-Sanchez.

That radiothon scheduled to take place at Taller Puertorriqueno at 2600 North 5th street. You can call in at 215-423-6320. The event runs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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