How to help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico

Hundreds of people wait in line since the morning to buy gasoline three days after the impact of Hurricane Maria in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria’s devastating passage across the island. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Six days after Hurricane Maria pounded the island of Puerto Rico, millions of citizens are still without food, water, fuel and power.

Just a few commercial flights are leaving the capital city each day, and many friends and family members are unable to contact their family members on the island.

The question for many now is, “what can we do to help?”

Once the infrastructure is stable, the island will surely need volunteers. But here are a few ways you can help now.

Monetary Donations

The United for Puerto Rico initiative has made it easy for anyone to donate to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Donors can give over the phone or through Pay Pal and First Bank.

The effort is spearheaded by the first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatrice Rosselló, in collaboration with the private sector.

GoFundMe has also created a hub for Hurricane Maria relief fundraisers. This includes larger campaigns like Soma Uno Voz, led by Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, as well as smaller campaigns created by individuals seeking help for their loved ones.

Other charities like UNICEF and the American Red Cross are also accepting donations.

Before giving anywhere, individuals can visit Charity Navigator to assure whether an organization is trustworthy.

Give Goods

The Puerto Rico Restaurant in Savannah is collecting water bottles, canned goods, new or worn clothing and other tangible items to send to the island.

For more information on the drop-off location and hours of operation, check out this story.

United for Puerto Rico has also provided a detailed list of needed emergency supplies and construction materials.

Spread the Word

Are you a Twitter, Instagram or Facebook user? Share your donation efforts or recommended links with one of the following hashtags to encourage others to take action: #unidosporpr #unitedforPR #MariaPR #prayforpuertorico

Some sites also have options for victims to check in with friends and family members:

Puerto Rico officials are asking people to report U.S. citizens who need emergency assistance to the State Department through their Task Force Alert program. Visit their site here and select ‘2017 Storm Maria.’

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