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Puerto Rico after Maria: How can Brooklyn residents help?

Where to drop off supplies, cash

October 6, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mayor Bill de Blasio visited on Thursday the NYC Office of Emergency Management's warehouse in Brooklyn where supplies for Puerto Rico relief are being sorted for shipment. Photo by Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
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The city’s efforts to provide emergency aid to Puerto Rico have shifted into high gear, with Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito calling on residents to drop off donations at locations including 24 firehouses and EMS stations, NYPD precincts, transit agencies and police service areas across the five boroughs. Donations will be accepted through October 31.

The city asks that people donate only batteries, diapers, feminine hygiene products, first aid supplies and baby food. Donations will be accepted during the hours of 7 a.m. through 9 p.m.

Relief efforts are also being led by Brooklyn officials including Councilmembers Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) and Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, Kensington).

People can also give cash, which is being collected by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. City workers now have the option to make a donation directly from their paychecks to Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

Thousands of donated items are already arriving at the island wrecked by Hurricane Maria. On Thursday, de Blasio and Mark-Viverito visited the NYC Emergency Management warehouse in Brooklyn, where 265 pallets of donated item are being sorted for shipment.

“We’ve collected tens of thousands of items and donations will be accepted through the end of the month. For those who are able to do so, the most effective thing to do right now is donate cash,” de Blasio said in a statement.

The mayor also announced 53 additional staff deployments to Puerto Rico, bringing the city total to 158. The staffers are being flown to the island by United Airlines and Jet Blue.

Menchaca said that neighbors are banding together in areas like Sunset Park and Bushwick to make donations.

“At a moment when our federal government is failing the people of Puerto Rico, I’m proud our city is setting an example of how New Yorkers offer real care and support for those in need,” Menchaca said.

Eugene and other elected officials, school administrators and clergy members were set to meet on Friday for the launch of “District 40 Cares.”

Eugene is asking for donations to be dropped off at the District Office Community Room. Needed items include diapers, batteries, feminine hygiene products, first aid supplies, water, infant care items, flashlights, toothbrushes, and cleaning supplies.

The effort is in collaboration with Middle School 2, Public School 92, Public School 249, Public School 397, Public School 139, Ditmas Junior High School, Kings County Hospital, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Maimonides Medical Center.

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz also said he has been working on hurricane assistance efforts.

“My office has been collecting and shipping thousands of items to Puerto Rico, especially the medical supplies to those badly in need. Let’s continue to make effort to assist our brothers and sisters at this time of crisis,” he said.

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