One week after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, 97 percent of the island’s 3.4 million Americans still don’t have power.
According to CNN, half of the residents do not have running water and accessible food is quickly becoming scarce. Maria killed at least 16 people, and while the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent trucks for aid to the island, the resources have not been enough.
An image of a message written in Spanish on the streets of a neighborhood went viral and showed the desperation for basic necessities. It translated to, "We need water/food!” and also read, “S.O.S."
Since the natural disaster, celebrities have been using their influence and finances to help in any way they can. Jennifer Lopez announced she was donating $1 million of proceeds from her Las Vegas show to relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
“Alex Rodriguez and I, who are both New Yorkers, are utilizing all our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports, and business to garner support for Puerto Rican and Caribbean relief efforts,” she said and later asked her followers and fans via a video for their aid.
Others have provided assistance through less conventional means. For example, Pitbull lent his private jet to transport cancer patients stuck on the island to the U.S. to get access to chemotherapy. Puerto Rico Congresswoman Jenniffer González thanked him on Twitter Tuesday and he said in a statement to the New York Daily News: “Thank God we’re blessed to help. Just doing my part."
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More stars have stepped up to the cause as well. Scroll down to see the celebrities who are making a positive impact.
The Spanish singer took to Facebook to announce his support of Save the Children and Puerto Rico through Omaze. Two lucky fans who donate at least $10 to the victims of Hurricane Maria will be selected to win VIP tickets to his and Pitbull's concert in Miami or Houston. There, they'll attend the show, meet them backstage, and stay at a four-star hotel.
Somos Una Voz (We Are One Voice) Iniviative
Lopez and ex Marc Anthony joined forces to create a new initiative, Somos Una Voz (We Are One Voice), to raise funds on social media. Celebrities like Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, and Vin Diesel have already participated raising over $160,000 as of Thursday. You can donate on its GoFundMe fundraising page.
Martin took to Instagram several days ago to reveal he’d yet to hear from his brother on the island. He created a relief fund with YouCaring and has so far raised over $427,000. “One dollar that you give us, one dollar that will get to the victims,” he said on Instagram.
Daddy Yankee did his part and gave two separate $1 million donations, one to Feed America and the other to the American Red Cross. “I know a lot of people are struggling. There’s no communication, no power on the island, the hospitals are not working,” he told CNN. “We need the government to be more proactive.”
The Jane the Virgin star took to social media to ask followers to contribute to Direct Relief, an organization that’s distributing all proceeds to victims on the island.
The Late Show host and actor Nick Kroll asked celebrities to share awkward photos of themselves from puberty on social media. For every star who does so, the show will donate money to relief efforts through Colbert's charity, the Americone Dream Fund, and Kroll will match it.
The Broadway star also shared a a link to Hispanic Federation, urging all to contribute.