Statement for Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico (BGCPR)

Rick Santiago, a volunteer helping the area of Aguadilla Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane María, created a Facebook Video in our Boys & Girls Club of Isabela, which is located in a Municipal building. While the conditions in the video are saddening and shocking, it represents the recovery efforts occurring across Puerto Rico to help our island, which is still impacted by a lack of basic needs like electricity and water.

After the hurricane, our Club was transformed into a shelter that is being administered by the Puerto Rico Public Housing Authority, through a private company called American Management. Our Club has a no-cost lease of the facility, which establishes that the Municipality is responsible for any issues impacting the building’s electrical capacity. We have been in constant communication with the Municipality of Isabela and American Management to determine the extent of the damage to the generator and the condition of the shelter located in our Club.

We will continue to work in collaboration with American Management, Public Housing Authority and the Municipality to let them know our efforts to address this situation. Additionally, we are reaching out to municipality to ensure that all actions to avoid any health/life risk to the citizens in the shelter are taken, should the condition of the generator be a real concern. We are committed to partnering with the municipality to find a solution to this issue as quickly as possible.

The primary concern of our organization is the safety and well-being of the young people and families we serve at our 13 Clubs around the island. As part of our community outreach work, we have channeled food, water and primary care supplies to our Club and distributed them to different communities of Isabela. Additionally, we are providing services to our kids and youth in order to provide a safe place for them as their families rebuild their homes and their lives. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico is an independent and locally-operated organization affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and we appreciate their support to re-establish our clubs and operations on the island to continue with our Mission.

We truly appreciate the efforts of volunteers and first responders on the ground who are working to help with this tragic situation.

In order to support the efforts to rebuild our Clubs and enable us to continue providing services to the 15,000 young people who we serve at 13 Club locations, please donate at www.bgcpr.org

Contact: Mildred Antuna mildred.antuna@bgcpr.org 787-396-8096

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