Marla for Maria: A Hurricane Recovery Fund for Puerto Rico

Marla for Maria: A Hurricane Recovery Fund for Puerto Rico

From Andrea Rivera

This fund is dedicated to the memory and spirit of Marla who was full of love and light, the definition of Boricua. She would never stop fighting for what mattered, and would have been standing with us to help her is...

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Update #11

9 months ago

Before the New Year arrives, we’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of for not only supporting Marla 4 Maria, but for helping us achieve our goal of $10,000!!! We did it and by we, I mean all of us!

As we head into the new year, we hope to continue supporting our neighbors and friends in Puerto Rico. While it may not be through our fundraising campaign, we will continue to visit, donate, collect donations and volunteer to help our fellow Boriquas. Puerto Rico still needs our support, as the recovery and rebuilding efforts are ongoing and will continue to be for some time to come.

Some of Marla’s Angels are visiting the island now. Distributing 30 book bags full of coloring books, markers, pencils, crayons and toys for children in time for the 3 Kings holiday. They are also armed with 40+ VISA/MasterCard gift cards to help families in need as they begin to rebuild. We hope to bring smiles to many during the holidays in Puerto Rico.

We will post a final update in 2018, with photos and details of how you helped many on the island of Puerto Rico. We have 5 days left of our 100-day campaign. If you find it in your hearts to be able to make one last donation or to share this fund with loved ones, we promise to make sure the final contributions are shared with our friends in Puerto Rico before their holiday celebrations are over (January 6th). We have also created an Amazon Wish List, where you can purchase gifts/items requested by many in Vieques here: Hi. Check out this list: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1K1ZET2T1SRS6

Thank you all so much for your support! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Xxoxx
Andrea

More Info

Puerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto, has been devastated by Hurricane Maria, and faces a growing humanitarian crisis. The island's infrastructure was already fragile and is now gone. Puerto Ricans are without power for what will likely be months. There is no phone service in the majority of the island, and many have yet to hear from the their loved ones, almost a week later.  Streets are impassable, leaving thousands cut-off from much needed supplies, food and safe drinking water.

How does one begin rebuild from the rubble? It's with help, love and a strong spirit -- the Puerto Rican spirit.

It is with this same spirit that we must help our Boricua friends. Without help they face unimaginable challenges and a fight like never before. The road ahead will attempt to break and dampen their spirit. We must do everything we can to help them preserve the spirit of the island and rebuild it.

This fund is dedicated to the memory and spirit of Marla who was full of love and light, the definition of Boricua.  She would never stop fighting for what mattered, and would have been standing with us to help her island with the biggest, baddest attitude you can imagine.

All donations will go directly to organizations working on the ground, helping the communities hardest hit. We have asked our friends and family on the island for help in identifying those organizations, here are just a few of the ones we will be contributing to:

Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund - The Fund is governed by organizations like Puerto Rico-based Taller Salud, the G8 of Caño Martín Peña, and other local, grassroots organizations.

Corefi Vieques: Operation 18 Degrees North- Although support has reached the main island, the people of Vieques have not received the same amount of support. COREFI is 501C3 organization based out of Puerto Rico.  

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #11

Before the New Year arrives, we’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of for not only supporting Marla 4 Maria, but for helping us achieve our goal of $10,000!!! We did it and by we, I mean all of us!

As we head into the new year, we hope to continue supporting our neighbors and friends in Puerto Rico. While it may not be through our fundraising campaign, we will continue to visit, donate, collect donations and volunteer to help our fellow Boriquas. Puerto Rico still needs our support, as the recovery and rebuilding efforts are ongoing and will continue to be for some time to come.

Some of Marla’s Angels are visiting the island now. Distributing 30 book bags full of coloring books, markers, pencils, crayons and toys for children in time for the 3 Kings holiday. They are also armed with 40+ VISA/MasterCard gift cards to help families in need as they begin to rebuild. We hope to bring smiles to many during the holidays in Puerto Rico.

We will post a final update in 2018, with photos and details of how you helped many on the island of Puerto Rico. We have 5 days left of our 100-day campaign. If you find it in your hearts to be able to make one last donation or to share this fund with loved ones, we promise to make sure the final contributions are shared with our friends in Puerto Rico before their holiday celebrations are over (January 6th). We have also created an Amazon Wish List, where you can purchase gifts/items requested by many in Vieques here: Hi. Check out this list: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1K1ZET2T1SRS6

Thank you all so much for your support! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
10 months ago

Update #10

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Can you believe that Christmas is in 20 days?! It has been a productive and busy couple of weeks for us for Marla 4 Maria. We have been working hard to identify important items needed for Puerto Rico, solving logistical issues of getting things to the island and out to the people who need them (yes- STILL!), and finalizing some last minute fundraising ideas to finish out our year strong for Puerto Rico! Here is a list of a few projects in the works:

-Amazon Wishlist for People in Loiza, Comeria, Carolina and Vieques- where power and cell phone service are still not available. (Link to be made available soon)
-Purchasing 130 pairs of shoes for children on the island
-30 Bookbags full of fun and educational activities and books for kids, as many are still not able to attend school and if they do, it is only for 4 hours a day with minimal, if any, electricity (see photo)
-Amazon Wish List Shopping for Christmas- including solar lights, water pitchers with filters, Power Inverters, Mosquito Nets, etc.
-Event planning a fundraiser in Arlington, VA- yup, another one!

In the past weeks, in North Carolina, Marisa Blake- one of Marla's Angels working hard for Puerto Rico, was able to not only secure 4,000 gallons of water for Puerto Rico (by the generous Asheville Beverage Company), but found a way to get it to the island FOR FREE! We received confirmation from our family in Puerto Rico, that all 4,000 gallons of clean, drinking water were delivered by United States Army stationed at Ft. Bragg.

​Our work is far from over! There is still a lot to be done for Puerto Rico, but we are working hard to make the biggest impact with all of your contributions. Please stay tuned as we continue to finish projects, add new ones, visit the island and more. We will update everyone with photos, news, and stories of who we help and how.

Thank you for opening up your hearts to Puerto Rico. As we approach the end of the year, please continue to share this page and donate if you have not yet done so. $10 can buy a pair of shoes- if not 2, for children in Puerto Rico! Every dollar counts :)

Muchisimas Gracias!
xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
10 months ago

Update #9

It is the day to give thanks for all of our many good fortunes and blessings. My family and I are so thankful for all of you who have supported Marla 4 Maria. All of your contributions, sharing of the fund, attendance at fundraising events has been incredible. Thank you for keeping Puerto Rico in your thoughts and for everything you have done to help our friends on the island.

From the bottom of our hearts and from our family to yours- Thank you and may your Thanksgiving be full of love, food and wine!

​xxoxx
Andrea​

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
10 months ago

Update #8

We have raised over $5,000 thanks to each and everyone of you!!! The first $5,000 has gone to Corefi Vieques, Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund, Jovenes X Puerto Rico, and to purchase items requested by our family and friends to be distributed in hard to reach areas, including Vieques, Morovis, Loiza, and more. You're generosity is beautiful and we are helping so many of our neighbors in Puerto Rico.

It has been 2 full months since Maria made her way through Puerto Rico. I wish I had better news to share, but the island remains mostly without power after a major malfunction near San Juan yesterday, a day with record-high temperatures in the 90's. Much of the federal troops left the island already as they have determined that Puerto Rico is "out of the crisis." From our family and friends on the island, this does not seem to be the case.

Our Tio Rafi and Tia Vilmary distributed the packages we sent last week. Giving out tap lights, mosquito nets, flashlights, water-purifying tablets and more to a residential community in Loiza. A community full of single mothers and children. While the adults were so happy to receive all of the items, the toothbrushes were a hit with the kids. Who knew that a simple toothbrush, with it's bright colors and cleaning ability, could make kids so happy? Seeing their smiling faces has inspired us to continue our work and to begin "Phase 2" of our operation.

For Phase 2, our goal is to raise another $5,000 if not more by the end of the year. The funds raised will go towards rebuilding efforts on the island, to purchase more items/tools needed to proceed with rebuilding, and to help families have a Merry Christmas, despite the situation on the island. Of course, this means that we need your help!

If you have already donated, please consider sharing this link with family and friends, via facebook and email. If you have not yet donated, please do so, if you can. $10 can buy a lot- especially when using Amazon with Prime :p so please consider making a contribution.

Thank you for your support and love!

xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #7

We did it!!!! We've reached $5,000! This is amazing. You are all awesome!

The past week- we hosted a party for Puerto Rico, raising almost $1000 in just a few hours! We then did some shopping, purchasing items that are difficult to find on the island via Amazon and shipping them to our contacts in PR to be delivered to the more difficult to reach areas. (Photos coming soon!) The end of the week last week, was spent putting together care packages for COREFI Vieques, which should be arriving tomorrow. Scroll through the photos above to see a bit more!

As we continue to work for Puerto Rico, expect updates on where and how we applied your generous donations. This week involves another shipment (mosquito nets, water purifying tablets, touch lights, etc.) and donating funds to a great organization, Jovenes X Puerto Rico. This group of young entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico, has been organizing and cooking fresh meals for Puerto Ricans. They have prepped and cooked the meals in and near San Juan, and then have coordinated deliveries to the hardest to reach places.

There is much more to come, as recovery efforts continue and rebuilding begins. Please continue to share this page and donate if you have not yet already. Keep Puerto Rico in your hearts and in your thoughts. While Mr. Trump and the media are focused on more pertinent issues today, we can do our part by not forgetting our friends in PR.

Thank you again for your support! Make sure to treat yourself to some Halloween Candy- you all deserve it!

xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #6

It's the beginning of a new week and I can only smile because last week was wonderful! We raised over $2,000 in 1 week! We are almost 1/2 way to our goal and hope to reach $5,000 by the end of this week!

3 of our Puerto Rico heroes are already working hard in PR. Tio Rafi, Marla's amazing father, and Tia Vilmary are and have been working hard to help those in PR. Making trips to the mountains, organizing and securing transportation over to Vieques. Creating lists of supplies that they need- of which we will be helping to purchase with some of funds raised here. They will be joined today by my Tia Marisa, who has collected and purchased suitcases full of items to personally deliver in Puerto Rico. We will share her updates as her journey begins on the island. They have been making a difference and inspiring us all to keep up our hard work here.

It has been over a month since Hurricane Maria hit PR and I wish I had some better news to share, but conditions have not really improved. As of yesterday, 95% of the island was without power. Despite the work being done to restore power, the system is so broken that it continues to break after being repaired. The hospitals not already on generators are being transferred to generators for power because they are more reliable than the power grid. While the distribution of supplies has greatly improved throughout the island, they need more. There is not enough- in the stores and being donated. This is where we come in!

We still need more support. Continue to share this page with your networks and make a donation if you have not done so already. $10 makes a difference! Help us reach our 1/2 way point this week! We can't do it without you.

xxoxx

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #5

My younger sister posted this photo today. It is a beautiful photo for many reasons- the scenery, my sister :). But I am in love with the photo because it captures the essence of Vieques, Puerto Rico: Peace, Beauty, Nature, Adventure, Amazing. A slice of paradise, tucked just off of the coast of Puerto Rico.

About 10,000 people reside on the island of Vieques. Like the rest of Puerto Rico, the island was torn apart by Hurricane Maria. And like the rest of Puerto Rico- food, supplies, electricity and assistance has been scarce. Already a challenge getting supplies to the main island, many fear that Vieques has been forgotten. This is why we have chosen to donate to Vieques- to help them recover and let them know that they have not been forgotten.

While our original plan was to donate only money, the need for items is greater for those in Vieques. Money can only buy goods if there are goods to purchase. In the upcoming couple of weeks, we will be using some of the funds raised here to purchase supplies that they so desperately need. Food, bottled water, feminine hygiene products, batteries, battery operated fans, mosquito nets and spray, and much more. These items will be delivered to our family and friends on the main island of Puerto Rico by mail and in suitcases when some of us visit. From the main island, we have secured private transportation to ensure that the items arrive in Vieques.

Now, more than ever, $10 makes a huge difference. What does $10 buy you? Food? Water? Batteries? Tampons? Toilet Paper? Baby wipes? Diapers? These are the basic things they need and your contribution can help. Please consider donating today and help us spread the word by sharing this page.

And for those that have already made a donation and have shared our page, thank you. We are helping Puerto Rico together and we couldn't do it without you. More updates to come :)

xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #4

This photo was taken this morning. It is of the beach in Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The dark water that you see is no seaweed or a natural darkening of the water, it is what they call "Agua Sucia." Agua sucia translates to Dirty Water, and that is exactly what it is. This is the dirty water that has come from the streets of San Juan from repeated flooding. It is full of debris and yes, sewage.

If you watch the news today, Puerto Rico is no longer the top story, despite the humanitarian crisis that is happening on the island. It is maddening and heartbreaking to hear discussions of social media battles and "fake news" when most Puerto Ricans still do not have safe drinking water, minimal food,and no electricity. It's almost been a month since Hurricane Maria hit PR and the conditions have barely improved.

While we can wait and hope that our government will do what is right, we can do our best to lead by example. Please consider making a small contribution here, so that we can get money and resources to our friends and fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. They need help and by donating just $10, you can help them.

Keep thinking and talking about Puerto Rico- even if the media is distracted- we can make sure that they are not forgotten and that their amazing and resilient spirit is not broken.

xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
12 months ago

Update #3

Happy Monday!

While things have improved slightly in PR, most of the island is still without power, cell service, and clean water. They had made some progress with the electrical grid, but after a few thunderstorms rolled through, they are back to square 1. And even with Donald Trump's paper towel distribution, the island remains in a fragile and devastated state. They need more help- they need our help!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this fund. You are awesome! Please don't forget to share this page on social media and with your family and friends. The larger our audience, the closer we will get to our goal!

It's a difficult time here in the US. Many disheartening and maddening things are happening every day. It is hard to stay focused on Puerto Rico- but we must! Together we can make sure that our island and fellow Americans are not forgotten. Remember though, that we can do it with kindness. And I know it's hard (oh boy do I know) but in a world full of so much negativity, kindness will stand out. Kindness always wins.

xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
12 months ago

Update #2

What a weekend! We raised $1000 in just 4 days! Woohoo! We have the best friends and family ever. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The Rivera’s were working hard all weekend long all over the country. We volunteered, collected donations, sang, did some social media promotion, and sold some lemonade. I’ve added a few photos of our efforts to this page. Share your photos with us and please continue to share this page with your family and friends. Remember- $5 and sharing this post makes a difference! #Spare&Share #MarlaforMaria #StaystrongPR

And if you haven’t hugged someone today, do it! Smile at everyone you see today. It’s been a hell of a few weeks with so many tragedies. A hug and a smile won’t fix our problems, but it will make us feel better and remind us that we are not alone. And that feeling, will help us all spread a little more good in this world.

Xxoxx
Andrea

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Andrea Rivera posted a new update:
12 months ago

Update #1

It's been 5 days since this campaign launched and we've raised almost $1,000! My heart is so full and I know that my cousin Marla is proud of us.

Thank you so much to all that have contributed. Every $1 counts and every share makes a difference. Continue to spread the word about Puerto Rico and share this page if you haven't already. And if you happen to come across a Puerto Rican this weekend- give them a hug. We are all doing what we can, but our hearts are hurting and hugs make it a little less painful :)

xxoxx
Andrea

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/ #Marla4Maria