NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico are desperate for food and water. The island took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria a week and a half ago. People in Connecticut are pitching in.
A fundraiser was held Saturday in New Haven. City leaders and activists came together to organize it. Volunteers reached out to people all over the city.
It was a celebration of Puerto Rico, but most of all it was about raising money to help the people there. The community came to show its support at Quinnipiac River Park. Many of the volunteers were firefighters.
“Several firefighters have aunts and uncles who have passed away through the hurricane,” said Assistant Chief Orlando Marcano of the New Haven Fire Department. “Some of the firefighters have families who are still unaccounted for, so it hits home for us.”
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Many in New Haven have personal connections to the island. They displayed their Puerto Rican pride and did what they could to help out.
“They’re suffering, and how can we let our American brothers who fought in the war – who bled for this country – suffer like that?” said Daniel Diaz, who helped organize the fundraiser.
The event raised money for New Haven’s hurricane relief efforts in a few ways. There were cupcakes for sale – a sweet way to give back, since all of the money raised will go to help people in Puerto Rico. Volunteers went beyond the park, collecting donations at half a dozen locations around the city.
“When you’re at Yale sometimes you can see the students and the natives kind of have a block between the two,” said Hacibey Catalbasoglu, a Yale University student. “You come out here and you see all these people from all different places around the city. It’s really beautiful.”
Organizers were excited to see all the support from the community. They are hoping this will give the people in Puerto Rico some relief.
“I had my two daughters here,” said Marcano. “To quote my youngest daughter, their hearts fill up with pride when they see what’s happening.”
Organizers say they’ve already raised more than $30,000.
If you’d like to donate please visit http://www.arte-inc.com.