September 22, 2017 – On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, catastrophic, category 4 Hurricane Maria made direct impact across the entire island of Puerto Rico. It left the entire island without electricity and knocked down cell towers, stopping all communications and other major damage. Many residents had gone days without water or electricity even before Hurricane Maria hit due to the impact of Hurricane Irma. With Buffalo having one of the largest Puerto Rican communities outside of the island, it has personally affected many city residents who have struggled in recent days, not knowing if their loved ones are safe.
Mayor Byron W. Brown, in partnership with Western New York Latino Leaders, have come together to assist the victims of Hurricane Maria, and established The Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief Fund to help provide both immediate and on-going support to the residents of Puerto Rico. To support efforts, resources and involvement are needed from the Buffalo area community.
Multiple donation centers have been set up to collect items for emergency relief from Monday, September 25 to – at least - Friday, October 6. Locations include Buffalo City Hall, All County Buildings, ECC, as well as the Belle Center at 104 Maryland St. (8am-6pm) and St. Anthony’s Church at 306 Ingham Ave. Lackawanna (10am-12pm and 2-4pm). Once these desperately needed items have been collected, we will ship them directly to a collection center located in Puerto Rico.
The following is a list of much-needed supplies: bottled water, D batteries, canned goods, old-style can opener, candles, flashlights, baby supplies (diapers and wipes). A more extensive list of donation drop-off locations and requested items can be found by going to: www.city-buffalo.com
We also set up other donation options. A bank account, managed through the Belle Center, has been established at M & T Bank. Tax-deductible donation checks may be made payable to the Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief Fund. A Go-Fund-Me account has also been set up. You can find the link on the local FB Page: Puerto Rican Hurricane Maria Relief Fund.