Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday morning, with sustained winds of roughly 155 mph. Maria has since moved on from Puerto Rico, but on Thursday morning, the U.S. territory was still facing potentially life-threatening flash floods, and the entire island is now without electricity. As Puerto Rico slowly embarks on its extensive recovery process, you might be wondering how you can help, especially if you are currently unable to make any donations. Here's one possibility: You can share memes and tributes to Puerto Rico to raise awareness about Maria's impact and promote organizations that are currently accepting volunteers and donations.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN's Anderson Cooper that at least one person has been confirmed dead, but he added that the total number of casualties is still unclear, particularly in more remote regions of the island. In addition to causing an island-wide power outage, Maria also severely damaged or destroyed cell towers, weather stations, and radar equipment, making it even more difficult for officials to assess exactly how much damage the storm caused throughout Puerto Rico.
In the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, residents left their homes after the storm to find uprooted trees, detached roofs, fallen balconies and power lines, and collapsed buildings. There are mass flash flood warnings in place, and Rosselló has implemented a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew — which will be active until Saturday — to ensure that people don't injure themselves on debris in the streets.
Rosselló told Cooper that it may take months for all of Puerto Rico to regain power, and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz echoed this point to NBC News in the an interview with NBC Nightly News.
"The Puerto Rico and the San Juan that we knew yesterday is no longer there," she said tearfully, "so we have to reconstruct, rebuild, reinvent, and we have to be resilient."
It is clear that Puerto Rico needs help — indeed, Yulín Cruz urged Americans not to "forget us" — so let's take a look at some memes, photos, and tributes to Puerto Rico that you can share in order to raise awareness of current conditions in the ground, and to encourage people to help out in any way they are able. Some of these posts show solidarity for Puerto Rico as well as Mexico, which this week experienced a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
Pray For Puerto Rico And Mexico
My Heart Hurts For You
Some Focused On The String Of Natural Disasters These Past Months
Make This A Priority
Sending Our Love And Strength
It's On Everyone's Minds
Some People Raised Awareness About Conditions On The Ground
All Of Puerto Rico Has No Power
"Puerto Rico Right Now Needs Your Help."
Helping Women In Particular
We Are With You
Donate, Donate, Donate
Especially To Local Organizations Helping Out
There Are Fundraisers Across The Contiguous United States
They Need Our Help
Volunteer To Help Disaster Relief Efforts
As these tweets point out, there are numerous ways to show support for Puerto Rico during its rebuilding process on the local, state, and national levels. In addition to the organizations and funds mentioned in the tweets above, the following organizations are providing on-the-ground relief efforts and aid, and could use as much support as possible:
- Catholic Charities of the United States of America: Text CCUSADISASTER to 71777 to support local relief efforts.
- Save the Children: You can donate to the Hurricane Maria Children's Relief Fund at this link.
- Mercy Corps Humanitarian Response Fund: You can donate at this link to help Mercy Corps increase its capacity to respond to natural disasters.
- Global Giving: Text MARIA to 80100 to donate $10 now.
- ConPRmetidos: This recovery fund will ensure locals have access to food, water, and shelter while also contributing to long-term recovery.
- Puerto Ricans in Action: Donate at this link to help victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria through local charity projects.
- United Nations Children's Fund: UNICEF staff are already providing supplies to countries affected by Hurricane Irma, and they are currently collecting donations to respond to children's needs following Hurricane Maria.
Not everyone is able to donate money or supplies, but it's important to spread the word about all of these different organizations and opportunities to help Puerto Rico.