One of the hardest parts of Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic hit in the Carribean for many local Puerto Ricans and Latinos was the helplessness. Unable to get in contact with family and even more powerless to help with major issues of health, hunger and disease, many local Latino Rochesterians waited with bated breath to hear any update on loved ones.
But a number of fundraisers and drives offered locals the opportunity to donate goods, money and their time. One of the more popular events was Parcel 5’s #ROCrelief, organized by the Hispanic Heritage Committee of the City of Rochester , the City of Rochester Mayor’s Office, the Rochester City School District, Red Cross and many other organizations and offices.
In total, last week’s event raised $10,000 for the Red Cross and Puerto Rico. Another four box trucks of water, food and supplies were also collected to be delivered by New York State Troopers.
“The generosity of the Rochester community cannot be overstated,” Mayor Warren said. “What is happening on some Caribbean Islands is a true humanitarian crisis. We have a large Puerto Rican and Caribbean population in Rochester, so these events have hit very close to home.”
“The event was important to me personally,” said Adrian Franco, a member of Afrikan2 and emcee of the event. “I have had tension enjoying what I have knowing they are all without. Anything I could do and be a part of I am willing. I felt honored to work along side my grandparents and mother, we all served at different capacity, but knowing we did something that mattered outside of ourselves was very rewarding. …Also its very a important declaration we are making being in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month. We Matter! We ARE Here! We Care! We Work Together!”
But that doesn’t mean the window to help has closed. From local coffee ships like Equal Grounds to bsuinesses in La Avenida, many places are taking donations still.