A rapidly-growing, all-volunteer relief effort for the people of Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Photo by Jocelyn Ortiz
Photo by Jocelyn Ortiz
Sunset Park Relief Coalition has established a rapidly-growing relief effort for the people of Mexico and Puerto Rico. It is a community-based, all-volunteer effort that is gathering, sending, and distributing donations.
A hand-to-hand endeavor, the goal of Sunset Park Relief is to establish a reliable network of local grassroots organizations to create and maintain a supply chain of essential goods for immediate survival and the long-term rebuilding of lives and communities.
The overwhelming success of the continuing donations drive has cleared the path for the development of the second phase in this effort. Coalition members are on the ground in Puerto Rico working to expand communications and establish a grassroots organizational network for distributing donations on the island.
In an enormous outpouring of tireless commitment and unconditional love, neighborhood residents of the historically Puerto Rican community are working to support their loved ones on the island. Every day, from 10am to 8pm, the sidewalk in front of the small storefront at Fourth Avenue and 49th Street in Brooklyn hums with activity. A dozen or more volunteers, spanning several generations, from teenagers to elders, are busy receiving and sorting donations, and carefully packing boxes by product type and size, to ensure everything contributed by the community in and around New York City reaches the community in Puerto Rico. When the boxes are full, they are marked with an X and moved inside the storefront to a growing stack. At least daily, the stacked boxes are moved back out to waiting trucks, and shipped to nearby storage spaces – the local mosque, a church, or a neighborhood business offering spare to hold the boxes until large-scale transportation is possible available.
We recognize that the devastation in Puerto Rico will have long-term consequences, and the Sunset Park Relief Coalition is here for the long haul.
Your support is invaluable for ensuring that the hundreds of tons of collected goods reach the marginalized neighborhoods of San Juan, and the rural areas beyond. Funds raised from individual support and private sector sponsorship will go to the transportation of essential goods and medicine, and creating infrastructure for long term needs to be met. We have a local team of dedicated truckers in place and delivery routes on the map. As government entities pull out, we're building real capacity and strengthening communities. To garner the resources for both immediate and longer-term cargo, shipping, and sustained aid, we've launched a GoFundMe campaign.
The $10,000 per container cost includes the container itself, the needed equipment and expertise to pack it properly, the freight and shipping costs, safe passage through the port, trucking, and delivery to communities who desperately need supplies for survival.
We welcome sponsors to visit the island with us and witness our service directive to the people in need. When government is unable to meet overwhelming demand, we must fill the gap, because lives are at stake.
Photo by Alex Bershaw
Our Brooklyn-based operation includes an intake facility and a 20,000 square foot warehouse where we're collecting supplies. We're grateful for every can of food and every bottle of water. In addition to survival basics, people are in dire need of USB car chargers for phones, trash bags, medicine, rubber boots, battery operated drills, fans, flash lights, and the batteries to charge them. The list goes on. We are in touch with people on the ground about what is most needed day to day, and will keep this registry updated to reflect the most current essentials. Scroll through, share it with friends, tack it on your fridge, and most importantly, bring it with you on your next grocery run.
We've collected 500 tons of much needed supplies to be sent to Puerto Rico. We need help organizing, packing, and moving it. We're encouraging people to self-organize into groups, so call on your friends and we'll see you there.
Photo by Noelle Flores Théard