FeaturedJanuary 2020 Earthquake

Retailers join nonprofit to deliver aid, entertainment to earthquake evacuees

The members of the Puerto Rico Retail Trade Association (known as ACDET) and the Association of Emergency Managers and Security Professionals (known as AMEPS) joined forces to deliver entertainment for children and adults living in shelters after earthquakes hit the island’s southern region.

Walgreens, Best Buy, Pepe Ganga, Walmart, Novus, Bakers, Pueblo and Sam’s Club, among others, were present during the delivery of supplies as well as Disney characters who spent time with shelter residents.

“The private sector, together with the government and the nonprofit sector, has been overflowing with aid for our people in the southwest of Puerto Rico,” said Lymaris Otero, director of ACDET.

“Although contributions have been made to charities that directly attend emergencies such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Mercy Corps, we had to be there to deliver first-hand supplies and spend time with our people,” she said. “I am extremely satisfied with the support that ACDET members provided to this cause. We’re united as a people and we will not skimp until our people are at peace and well attended.”

Nazario Lugo, head of AMEPS, called for calm from the population.

“If you face any type of emergency, such as a structural failure of your residence, which could pose a risk to your family’s safety, you should contact the municipal emergency management office of your respective towns,” he said.

“Puerto Rico is in a seismically active area, where there is a risk of more quakes. Therefore, it’s time that we all have the family and community emergency plan,” said Lugo.

Home Depot, CVS pitch in
In related news, the Home Depot Foundation announced a commitment of up to $250,000 in response to the continued earthquake activity rattling Puerto Rico.

The Home Depot Foundation is working alongside its national nonprofit partners including American Red Cross, Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing, Team Rubicon and All Hands and Hearts to assess need, distribute emergency supplies and meals and provide individual care, it confirmed.

Emergency supplies include water, tarps, mosquito nets, first aid kits, generators and more.

“Our hearts go out to our associates, customers and communities affected by the ongoing earthquake activity in Puerto Rico,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation.

“We have been engaged in long-term recovery efforts in Puerto Rico since Hurricane María in 2017 and will continue to work closely with our nonprofit partners to provide relief for communities impacted by the earthquakes,” she added.

The Homer Fund, Home Depot’s employee assistance program, has been actively processing grants for affected associates in Puerto Rico. In 2019, The Homer Fund granted more than $1 million to associates in need following a disaster. 

Meanwhile, CVS Health is helping patients affected by the earthquakes by filling prescriptions ahead of schedule, providing pharmacy services and other assistance in Puerto Rico. It is working with the Puerto Rico Health Services Administration “to ensure the residents of Puerto Rico have expanded access to their medications during this time of need.”

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 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 areas of the economy.

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