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‘Tu Comunidad tiena una Plaza’ program reaches 17K people

Nonprofit organizations that participated in the community action program dubbed “Your Community has a Plaza,” or “Tu Comunidad tiene una Plaza” reached more than 17,200 people that visited the Plaza Las Américas shopping center in Hato Rey and collected close to $125,000.

Plaza Las Américas presented the results of its 2022 community action program that summarizes its support for nonprofit or essential public service organizations that carried out some type of community effort from the shopping center during the past year.

A total of 69 nonprofit organizations participated in the “Tu Comunidad tiene una Plaza” program, which allows them to carry out orientations and fundraising efforts within the mall’s premises. 

Meanwhile, six government agencies and two universities also had a presence in the mall offering guidance to visitors on the services and benefits that are available to the community.

“In 2022, many nonprofit organizations and several government agencies approached the mall, interested in obtaining support to reach our visitors by providing orientation about the services that entities and agencies offer to the community,” Empresas Fonalledas Communications Manager Carlos Ayala said. 

“In many cases, the public is unaware of the services and programs that these non-profits and government agencies can offer them free of charge. In the case of nonprofit organizations, their participation in Plaza also allows them to raise funds to continue offering support to the various causes pursued by each organization,” he said.

In addition to supporting nonprofits, the shopping mall developed several special initiatives in 2022, such as the establishment of a Voces vaccination center where some 380,000 people received their COVID-19 vaccines and about 200,000 were educated about the recently federal Food and Drug Administration approved vaccination. 

Furthermore, in coordination with United Way of Puerto Rico, a Volunteer Tax Assistance center was established in the mall to make it easier for people to fill out their federal forms and receive the child tax credit.

“Thanks to this initiative, over 11,200 citizens were able to complete their federal forms and receive the corresponding [tax] credit,” Ayala said. 

Another special community effort developed after Hurricane Fiona was the establishment of the new “Conéctate” space, located at the mall’s La Terraza area where visitors have a space to be able to recharge electronic equipment, work tables and WIFI access, free of charge, in partnership with Liberty Puerto Rico. 

Similarly, through the Plaza Las Americas Foundation “Mano Amiga Program,” in 2022, $314,446 in donations were awarded to 30 organizations to support projects in areas such as education, art and culture, entrepreneurship, health and the environment.

De Frente Al Alzheimer, Inc., Caribe Girl Scouts Council, Fundación CAP, Fundación Puertorriqueña del Riñón, the Centro para Puerto Rico de la Fundación Sila M. Calderón, Susan G. Komen, Federación de Baloncesto en Sillas de Ruedas de Puerto Rico, Fundación de Esclerosis Múltiple de Puerto Rico, Cáritas de Puerto Rico, Cruz Roja Americana, Scuba Dogs Society, Make A Wish Puerto Rico, Sociedad Pro-Hospital del Niño, Salvation Army and the Alianza para un Puerto Rico Sin Drogas are some of the organizations that participated in the “Tu Comunidad tiene una PLAZA” program in 2022.

Some of the government agencies that also participated in the community action program include the Family and Corrections and Rehabilitation Departments, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, the Mental Health and Addiction Services Administration, the State Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. These government agencies offered guidance to citizens about their respective community programs.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department had a service center open to the public during the income tax return season and the Labor and Human Resources Department held a successful job fair at the shopping mall.

Furthermore, as part of the shopping malls’ community action program, La Torre de Plaza was also illuminated in 2022 to create awareness messages on different causes such as Cervical Cancer Prevention, the Red Cross, the Puerto Rican Kidney Foundation, the Down Syndrome Foundation and on suicide prevention.

Plaza Las Américas annually collaborates with the communities through different initiatives as part of its contribution to the development of Puerto Rico.  Among the collaborations are: the artisan program, the drawing exhibition and values workshops offered to students at the Nemesio R. Canales School (Calendart), the Plaza Las Américas Walkers Club, La Placita in Plaza and the “Tu Comunidad tiene una Plaza” program, among others.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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