Aid Puerto Rico Now sending more than 30,000 lbs of food and supplies with more planned to come
While watching the constant torrent of news reports as Puerto Rico was battered by hurricane Irma, one local businessman began making plans to send aid to the storm-ravaged island. John Patterson, CEO of JP Tech Group, was concerned that – after the Harvey storms that devastated Texas and Louisiana and the impact of Irma on Florida – the U.S. territory would additionally suffer from resources stretched thin.
“When Harvey hit us in Texas, the influx of first responders, volunteers, and rebuilders was staggering in its positive impact,” said Patterson. “When Irma took aim at Puerto Rico, I knew we had to return the favor.”
Patterson immediately set about forming an organization to handle the potential tons of supplies that he intended to send to Puerto Rico. Aid Puerto Rico Now, which has an IRS tax-exempt nonprofit status pending, was established to work with community organizations throughout the state to send much-needed food and supplies to those recovering from the hurricane.
“The sad fact is that the infrastructure in Puerto Rico was already in dire need of repair and update, and the residents there didn’t have a chance against the strength of the storm,” said Patterson. “Even now, weeks later, a vast majority are without power and shelter.”
Patterson commenced forging strategic partnerships with two other organizations: Austin Disaster Relief Network and Kids Against Hunger of Central Texas. “These two fantastic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations were instrumental in amassing between them more than 30,000 lbs of food and supplies,” said Patterson.
Collected in Austin, thirty pallets – each weighing approximately 1,000 lbs – of relief goods are now en route to Puerto Rico. The pallets are filled with drinking water, sanitary supplies for adults and children, baby food, welcome kits of toiletries and other sundries, and 21,368 individually packed ready-to-eat meals.
“We’re such a new organization and there was such an immediate need for the supplies, I decided to ship the pallets myself before we could establish a donation portal,” said Patterson. He has thus far paid an excess of $16,000 in storage and transportation fees out of his own pocket. “I am hoping that, as word of our work spreads, we can receive an influx of donations to defray the future costs.”
Patterson plans to personally travel to Puerto Rico in the near future to gain “boots on the ground” perspective to see how Aid Puerto Rico Now can direct its future efforts He encourages interested individuals, organizations, corporations, and philanthropic entities to contact the Aid Puerto Rico Now offices in Houston at 888-703-3390 or visit www.AidPRNow.org to learn how they can assist.
“I just want to assure our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico that Texas is coming, without political agenda or ulterior motive. We’re coming to help, and we’re coming now.”
About Aid Puerto Rico Now
Aid Puerto Rico Now is a nonprofit organization – with IRS tax exempt status pending – based in Houston, Texas whose mission is to provide relief in the form of food, water, supplies, equipment, manpower, and other assistance to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico as it recovers from Hurricane Irma. The organization is the central hub of a network of relief agencies and dedicated individuals tasked with short-, medium-, and long-term aid efforts. To learn more about the organization, or to donate, visit www.AidPRNow.org or call 888-703-3390.