New Jersey effort announced for Puerto Rico earthquake relief

David Madden
January 28, 2020 - 4:02 pm
Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez speaks about New Jersey For Puerto Rico Relief.

David Madden/KYW Newsradio

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CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Efforts are being put together in New Jersey to help Puerto Ricans ravaged by a series of earthquakes in recent weeks.

Between two hurricanes, a lack of coordinated help from the federal government and now the earthquakes, aid has a hard time getting to the people who need it.

New Jersey For Puerto Rico Relief is taking in donations, but chairman Sam Delgado says the money will fund relief efforts already underway of the southwest part of the island.

"Our philosophy is to fund those organizations that already have established supply chains, logistic chains, human capital on the ground that’s already doing the work,” he said. 

Among the agencies that’ll get the money are the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. 

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There have been ongoing complaints about a lack of proper federal response to the island commonwealth in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Earthquakes over the last month in southwest Puerto Rico have only made things worse for those who once lived there but are now mainland residents.

Among them, elected officials like Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez.

"My father and my brother? They’re still there. Almost my entire family’s still there,” she said. “This is our family. We have to and we should do something." 

Estimates are that the country's population is about 9.5% Puerto Rican, with two thirds of them living on the U.S. mainland. And in the aftermath of the earthquakes, there are rising numbers of island residents coming to the mainland either to escape the current situation or to set up permanent residency.

Camden County’s Office of Hispanic Affairs is available for help at 856-225-5312.

To donate to the New Jersey For Puerto Rico Relief, visit their website or donate by mail here:

New Jersey for Puerto Rico Relief, 
PO Box 136
Keasbey, NJ 08832