On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis on the island. In the following weeks, many of the most vulnerable hurricane survivors – elderly, people with disabilities, some in need of urgent medical attention – came to Connecticut, where they have friends and family. The city estimates that 4,000 Puerto Ricans will arrive in New Haven in the next year.
The Jewish community has responded with compassion and generosity to relief efforts for survivors of the hurricane. Normally, JCARR (the Jewish Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement) and IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services) work with refugees. But when JCARR Coordinator Jean Silk and Chris George, the Executive Director of IRIS, heard about the influx of hurricane evacuees in New Haven, they agreed, “let’s figure out what we can do to help.”
JCARR has collected carloads of warm winter clothing, new socks and underwear, personal care items, and much-needed funding to help Junta for Progressive Action provide food cards, bus passes and transportation for medical care to those in need. The Jewish Federation put a collection box out in the newly reopened JCC in December.
HELP IS STILL URGENTLY NEEDED!
Greatest need is for blankets, NEW/UNOPENED socks and underwear in all sizes, personal care items—toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, bars of soap, toilet paper, child and adult diapers.
Donations can be made through JCARR’s synagogues, at the JCC, or take them directly to JUNTA at 169 Grand Ave. in Fair Haven. To donate funds, send checks made payable to Temple Emanuel JCARR with Hurricane Relief in the memo line to Peter Stolzman, 20 Peddlers Drive, Branford CT 06405, or donate online at crowdrise.com/ jcarrpr.