More than six months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, thousands of people on the island are still without reliable electricity. To help victims of the hurricane and support efforts to increase access to solar-powered electricity, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Puerto Rico Community Foundation combined efforts in February. Our fundraising campaign, Gift of Life, kicked off with a goal of $3 million.
Recovery has been slow for the U.S. Territory due to widespread infrastructure damage. “We are frustrated, but at the same time, frustration becomes your source of energy to keep moving forward,” said Dr. Nelson I. Colón, president and CEO of the Puerto Rico Community Foundation (PRCF) in an interview with ABC7 KGO-TV prior to a fundraising lunch event at SVCF.
From left to right: Dr. Nelson I. Colón, president of Puerto Rico Community Foundation; Dr. Julia María Nazario Fuentes, mayor of Loíza; and former State Senator Ramon Luis Nieves, Esq.
SVCF hosted three events in support of the fundraiser: a private donor dinner at the home of one of our former board chairs; a lunch for donors at our Mountain View headquarters; and a community event at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose. These events included panel conversations in which attendees heard from Hon. Julia M. Nazario Fuentes, mayor of Loíza, Puerto Rico and Ramón Luis Nieves, Esq. former senator & chairman of the Committee on Energy. Along with PRCF’s president, they shared personal hurricane experience stories, information on the state of restoration efforts and plans for updating Puerto Rico's energy infrastructure. Senator Nieves said, “We are survivors because of the devastation of Hurricane Maria.”
Since the fundraising campaign began, donors have raised nearly $685,000 for SVCF's Hurricanes Irma and Maria Response and Recovery Fund. SVCF has also committed an additional $250,000. Campaign funds go directly to Resilient Power Puerto Rico, a charity that is providing the island's clinics with solar electricity kits.
Join Puerto Rico on the journey to recovery by making a donation to the Gift of Life campaign.