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Private sector commits combined $2.5M in Hurricane Fiona aid

Donations from Puerto Rico’s private sector began rolling in Thursday, with a combined $2.5 million allocation to different nonprofits that are working to deliver aid to island residents devastated by Hurricane Fiona.

Oriental Bank, FirstBank, Walmart, Evertec and the Public Relations Professionals Association made separate announcements of their contributions to recovery efforts.

Oriental announced that is donating $1.2 million to five nonprofits “directly focused on initiatives to help families and communities recover,” said Idalis Montalvo, director of marketing and public relations for the financial institution.

“Our mission is simple, making progress means our employees, customers, shareholders, and communities achieve more. So, after the passage of Hurricane Fiona, we communicated with several nonprofit organizations to join forces and help so many people who need it right now,” she said.

Meanwhile, Oriental employees will be participating in volunteer activities as part of the Manos Oriental program, whose objective is for them to join the community by donating their time in community work, Montalvo noted.

The bank also made a monetary contribution to help employees who live in affected communities cover the unforeseen expenses associated with the emergency.

“We’re all more than ready to collaborate and help communities, employees and customers. It’s something we’ve always done, and will continue to do, it’s part of our mission as a bank and our commitment to Puerto Rico,” said Montalvo.

Walmart steps in with $750K
Meanwhile, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation announced they will make a $750,000 donation to four nonprofits that will work directly with communities, delivering water, food and essential items to people affected by the atmospheric event.

Viviana Mercado, senior manager of Corporate Affairs at Walmart Puerto Rico, confirmed that while the identities of the nonprofits cannot be revealed yet, she said $250,000 of the donation will go to an entity that will work directly with farmers and small businesses; $150,000 to a nonprofit that as a first responder, delivers water, food and blankets; $150,000 to an organization that provides food to people, pets and babies; $150,000 to an entity that handles petitions on a case-by-case basis.

The retailer has also already distributed more than $40,000 worth of in-store product donations to several entities, including Fondita de Jesús, Yo No Me Quito and AdoptaAhora, for different purposes, Mercado confirmed.

“In this stage of the emergency, in which quick support is needed, we reaffirm our commitment to the well-being of Puerto Ricans, providing resources through foundations that are dedicated to working directly with the community,” said Mercado.

FirstBank donates $300K
FirstBank announced it has donated $300,000 to 27 nonprofit organizations actively offering direct aid in Puerto Rico’s most affected municipalities.

The selected organizations focus on seven types of aid:

  • Supplies for hurricane victims: Brigada Solidaria del Oeste, Acción Social, Fundación Mochileando, La Perla de Gran Precio, Puerto Rico Renace, Reborn Family Center, ACUTAS, Cáritas Puerto Rico, Centro Pro-Ayuda Edad Avanzada, Concilio Cristo la Roca, Jóvenes de PR en Riesgo, Cruz Roja de PR.
  • Prepared meals: El Comedor de la Kennedy, La Fondita de Jesús, Plenitud PR
  • Home repairs: Techos pa’ mi gente, Ponce NHS
  • Health: Centro de Deambulantes Cristo Pobre, Ser de PR, Iniciativa Comunitaria
  • Agriculture: Centro de Microempresas y Tecnologías Agrícolas Sustentables
  • Combined services: The United Way, Boys & Girls Club, Yo No Me Quito, Mail From Heaven
  • Animal protection: Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asís, PetFriendly

“Puerto Rico needs help right now, and we ensure aid is provided immediately thanks to nonprofit organizations working directly with the most affected areas. We rely on these organizations’ agility and ability to make the best use of these funds so that nothing can stop us on the path to recovery,” said FirstBank President Aurelio Alemán.

The institution opened an account that allows those who have not suffered losses to contribute to the affected communities. Donations can be made through FirstBank’s Huracán Fiona (Hurricane Fiona) account #0108004226 or ATH Móvil at pATH FirstBankFIONA.

Evertec commits $250K
Evertec announced it will donate up to $250,000 for hurricane relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, including assistance to affected employees.

As part of these efforts, starting today, and for a two-week period ending Oct. 7, Evertec and ATH will launch an initiative to promote online donations through the ATH Móvil application and its “Donate” feature.

Through this initiative, the company will match each dollar donated through the ATH Móvil application to the institutions listed below during the two weeks up to a total of $100,000.  There will be a cap of $5,000 per organization, subject to fund availability, company officials said.

“Hurricane Fiona inflicted hardship on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and our hearts go out to those affected. We remain deeply committed to the recovery and I am proud of our colleagues and their efforts to respond to these challenges,” Evertec President Mac Schuessler said.

The selected institutions and its pATH ID’s in italics are:

Taller Salud / TallerSalud
La Fondita de Jesús / LaFonditaDeJesus
Techos Pa’ Mi Gente / TPMGCorp
Rehaciendo Comunidades con Esperanza / REHACEMATRIA / ProyectoMatria
Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos / CasaJulia
Banco de Alimentos de PR / bancodealimentosdepr
Fundación Mochileando / FundacionMochileando
Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico / ayudalegalpuertorico
Fundacion Pisadas de Amor / FundacionPisadasDeAmor
Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico / ComedoresSocialesPR
PlenitudPR / PlenitudPR
Red Por La Niñez /AlberguesPR
True Self Foundation / TrueSelf
Brownie Blondie Foundation / Brownieblondiefoundation
Scuba Dogs Society / Scubadogssociety
ConPRmetidos / ConPRmetidos
Centros Sor Isolina Ferre / CentrosSorIsolinaFerre
Fundación Yo no me quito / yonomequitopr
Para La Naturaleza /Paralanaturaleza
Hogar Forjadores de Esperanza / HogarForjadores
El Comedor de la Kennedy / ElComedordelaKennedy
Cáritas Puerto Rico / CaritasPR
Hogar Ruth / HogarRuthparaMujeres
Save a Sato / saveasato
Ciencia en Tus Manos / cienciaentusmanos
Iniciativa Comunitaria / IniciativaComunitaria
Boys and Girls Club / BoysandGirlsClubsdePR
Cruz Roja Americana, Capítulo de Puerto Rico / CruzRojaPR

Relations Professionals to donate convention proceeds
The Puerto Rico Association of Relations Professionals will donate 10% of the proceeds from sponsorships and ticket sales for its 2-day, 34th annual convention to the American Red Cross Puerto Rico Chapter, it announced.

“As agents of change, and in view of the need for action in this emergency, relations professionals will respond to the call of those most in need in our society, collaborating with organizations that know and can channel aid to those who need it most,” said Tomás Dardet, president-elect and chair of the 2022 convention committee.

The virtual and in-person event will take place Oct. 13-14. Dardet confirmed the donation will add up to several thousand dollars.

The Association groups more than 300 relations professionals who work in the private sector, government and independently, as well as academics from this field of communications.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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