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Photo courtesy of El Grito de Sunset Park
Photo courtesy of El Grito de Sunset Park
How Brooklynites can lend a helping hand to the victims of Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in Mexico City.

Brooklynites can lend a helping hand to the millions affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as well as the 7.1 earthquake that killed over 200 people in Mexico.

Several organizations have stepped up to the plate to donate several items to the countries in dire need of assistance.

On Tuesday, September 19, the earthquake hit the country’s capital, with buildings such as a school crumbling, claiming the lives of many children. Reports state that the death toll is expected to rise.

The following day, Wednesday, September 20, the category 4 hurricane with reported winds of 155 mph hit Puerto Rico, resulting in flooding, destruction of structures and the loss of power for the entire country. The estimated time that the power will be regained is as many as six months.

Here are some ways Brooklyn residents can lend their assistance.

Photo courtesy of Natalie DeJesus

Photo courtesy of Natalie DeJesus

Assemblymember Felix Ortiz has been collecting several supplies at his office, 5004 Fourth Avenue.

Ortiz has also collaborated with El Grito de Sunset Park for Earthquake Hurricane Relief. On Saturday, September 23, from 2-8 p.m., the organization will host a relief drive at 4906 Fourth Avenue.

Those who wish to donate are encouraged to bring nonperishable food, bottled water, new packs of socks, underwear, and t-shirts,, diapers, maxi pads, toilet paper, first aid kits, and generators,if possible.

People can also donate the same day to Ortiz’s office and the Muslim Community Center of Sunset Park, 5224 Third Avenue.

“We at El Grito de Sunset Park are organizing relief efforts for those most marginalized and impacted by Hurricane Maria as well as those recovering from the Earthquake in Mexico,” the organization said in a statement. “Our community was impacted by these two tragedies as so many of our community members have roots and family in Puerto Rico and Mexico.

“In Puerto Rico, we are working to bring resources to the most marginalized and impacted by the storm. Due to lack of electricity and phone service it is difficult to communicate with our people, but through our early efforts in organizing for Hurricane Irma, we have identified individuals and organizations on the ground that need our support. One of these is an HIV clinic in Rio Piedras called CoNCRA which serves some of the most vulnerable members of the community. In Mexico, we are working with trusted colleagues to help us identify the organizations at the front lines.”

Donations will also be accepted at the following locations following the relief event.

A drop-off location for Puerto Rico will be set up at Paul’s Parish Hall, 334 South Fifth Street, on Sunday, September 24 from 2- 5 p.m.

The Sunset Park Lion’s Club has also worked on collecting donations.

Photo courtesy of Natalie DeJesus

Photo courtesy of Natalie DeJesus

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced 18 firehouses and EMS stations where New Yorkers can donate critically-needed items for Hurricane Maria relief.

The Sunset Park firehouses include Engine 201/Ladder 114, 5113 Fourth Avenue and  Engine 228, 436 39th Street.

Other Brooklyn firehouses people can donate to are Engine 271/ Ladder 124, 392 Himrod Street, Engine 277/ Ladder 112, 582 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn and Engine 218, 650 Hart Street.

“New York City stands in solidarity with those affected by Hurricane Maria, and many of us are looking for ways to help. We’re encouraging New Yorkers to donate these critically-needed items at a local drop-off site,” said de Blasio.

The City encourages donation of items that are critically needed for recovery with the items being delivered to families directly affected by the storm. The items include diapers, baby food, batteries, first aid supplies and feminine hygiene products.

All donated items must be non-perishable, not second-hand, nor contain any liquids of any kind. Open or unsealed donations of food or hygiene supplies will not be accepted. Wet wipes will also not be accepted. Any other items will be kindly returned.

Members of the Community Emergency Response Team are set up at United Seniors of Sunset Park, 475 53rd Street, third floor, and are accepting donations for Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Cash or clothing will not be accepted.

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