In case you missed it, Puerto Rico has been devastated by Hurricane Maria. (Friendly reminder that Puerto Rico is an American commonwealth, everyone born there is an American citizen, and the American government does have an obligation to send aid just as it did to the residents of Texas or Florida.) And Donald Trump’s response has been… disappointing but not surprising. Per usual, he has gone on several Twitter tirades instead of doing his job, tweeting about everything from NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to insulting the leadership of Puerto Rico and implying the community of Puerto Rico is lazy and searching for handouts. Lucky for Puerto Rico, and embarrassingly for the U.S., other people have stepped in to help since Donald Trump isn’t. Here are the names you should know and what they’re doing to help:
Carmen Yulín Cruz
Despite what Trump may think, Puerto Rico’s mayor is one strong leader. Since Hurricane Maria, Cruz has been photographed in the flooded streets of Puerto Rico, working directly with teams in the relief efforts. She has been advocating for the needs of her people, criticizing Trump and the American government when their efforts fall short and working tirelessly to see that everyone’s needs are met.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter
Every single living former President of the United States has joined forces through One America Appeal, which allows people to easily donate to relief efforts helping the American citizens affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Beyoncé is a featured artist on a newly-released remix of J. Balvin and Willy William’s “Mi Gente”. As if that wasn’t enough of a gift, she announced that all proceeds from the song will go to benefit Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the other Caribbean islands in need of relief efforts.
Ricky Martin, who was born in Puerto Rico and still has family living there, is trying to raise $2 million through crowdfunding website YouCaring. He also received a cheque for $80,000 to put towards his efforts from General Mills and Cheerios on Ellen.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony
They have reunited with the common goal of helping Puerto Rico, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony have formed “SOMOS UNA VOZ”, an alliance of about thirty celebrities to raise awareness and donations. Jennifer Lopez has also donated $1 million to relief efforts for Puerto Rico.
He has been pretty modest about his efforts to help, but it has been revealed that Pitbull has sent a private plane to Puerto Rico to transport cancer patients to the U.S. where they can receive chemotherapy treatments.
Puerto Rico native Daddy Yankee has donated $100,000 to the Red Cross, $100,000 to the Food Bank of Puerto Rico, 200 gallons of diesel fuel to the food bank to power refrigerators, and has just announced he is planning to donate $1 million to relief and rebuilding efforts. Oh, and the donation of diesel fuel was after he arrived in Puerto Rico and toured the food bank. Yes, he beat Donald Trump to Puerto Rico.
The mastermind behind Hamilton has announced he is working on a new song to raise money for Puerto Rico, calling it a “love letter to Puerto Rico”. In the meantime, he’s been busy fighting Donald Trump back on Twitter, all while raising awareness and encouraging donations by linking the Hispanic Federation or the Puerto Rican Family Institute, Inc. at the end of his tweets.
Talk show host Stephen Colbert has a lot of money to donate thanks to the proceeds of his Ben & Jerry’s flavor, Americone Dream. Taking full advantage of those funds, he has issued a challenge to celebrities: post an awkward picture from their teenage years using #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief, and he will donate $1,000 per celebrity to One America Appeal. He has reportedly raised tens of thousands of dollars so far.
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line
Yes, the cruise lines. Royal Caribbean has canceled one of its cruises and chosen to send the ship to Puerto Rico instead to evacuate residents to Fort Lauderdale, FL and bring supplies to Puerto Rico and other affected islands, along with a promised donation of up to $1 million to Hurricane Irma relief. Norwegian Cruise Line is working in coordination with All Hands Volunteers to rebuild schools in Puerto Rico, and is donating $600,000 towards rebuilding in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean, and will donate up to $1.25 million to All Hands Volunteers and Happy Heart Fund.
JetBlue already proved itself when it capped flights out of evacuation areas during Hurricane Irma at $99 while other airlines were accused of price gouging. Now it is also helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria by flying in supplies to the island.
Last but certainly not least is the food company Goya. Goya’s Headquarters in Jersey City have been gathering and packaging donations through employees and volunteers to send to Puerto Rico. Goya will also be donating 300,000 pounds of food and water to residents in Puerto Rico in addition to those donations. That’s a whole lot of generosity for a company that has reportedly lost more than $25 million in product and facilities in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria.
Note: This list is in no way exhaustive. (And that’s sad because a list of people and companies doing a better job than the President of the United States should stop somewhere.) Also, all charities and organizations listed in the article have been linked accordingly, should you want to and be able to find out more and donate.
Photo: The United States Department of Agriculture