San Dimas, Calif., Aug. 31, 2018 – In honor of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria this upcoming September, Tzu Chi USA will join hands with the San Juan FEMA Disaster Recovery Center on Sept.13-15th to provide disaster relief aid to Puerto Rican communities in order to create a brighter beginning following Hurricane Maria.
Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 causing widespread destruction across the island and leaving various cities uninhabitable. The storm caused an estimated 2,957 deaths in Puerto Rico. Power has officially been restored, however, residents still face power outages and blackouts.
From September 13th to 15th of 2018, Tzu Chi USA will distribute 3,000 portable solar powered LED light bulbs to the residents of San Juan, Bayamón, Comerío, Orocovis, and Jayuya – low-income cities impacted by Maria. These bulbs use about 25%-85% less energy than traditional incandescents, and last 3-25 times longer. This gives the Puerto Rican residents an immediate and long-term, cost-saving solution for electrical necessities.
The distribution of these portable light bulbs will give hope and bring light to many families still in the dark, while simultaneously supporting Tzu Chi’s long term goal of educating communities about becoming environmentally conscious via plastic consumption reduction.
Additional financial aid will also be distributed in order to help families buy everyday essentials and do necessary house repairs. These cash cards will be stipend on a case by case basis after an assessment of damages.
About Tzu Chi USA
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a global humanitarian NGO whose missions in charity, medicine, education, and disaster relief has reached over 95 countries since 1966. In 2017, Tzu Chi USA distributed over $9 million in assistance, benefiting those impacted by 68 US disasters. Learn more at www.tzuchi.us.