ALEXANDRIA, VA -- In the aftermath of multiple high-magnitude earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico last week, The Salvation Army is providing physical, emotional and spiritual care to individuals and families impacted by the disaster, as well as first responders.
With aftershocks still persisting, more than 40,000 people are voluntarily displaced across Puerto Rico due to fears of structural collapse. With many residents still recovering from Hurricane Maria, local "camps" have been established by survivors who are afraid to return to their homes. The Salvation Army continues to work with local authorities such as the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency to serve these camps and pinpoint the most impacted areas for ongoing service delivery.
"Our team of 124 and growing is working around the clock to support our brothers and sisters suffering from this ongoing disaster," said Major Eric Rodriguez, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "Everywhere we go to provide supplies and services on our island, an overwhelming number of people are requesting emotional and spiritual care to cope with the constant fear of aftershocks. Whether we're serving meals or simply giving a hug, The Salvation Army will continue to be here in Puerto Rico serving the whole person – physically, emotionally and spiritually."
The Salvation Army has had a presence in Puerto Rico since 1962. With four facilities throughout the territory, they were uniquely prepared to serve immediate needs. As part of the local communities, Salvation Army staff and facilities have experienced damage during the quakes, yet they will remain serving on the front lines throughout response and recovery.
Puerto Rico Earthquake Disaster Relief Overview
- The Salvation Army currently has 124 volunteers and officers deployed to the areas with the most need
- 1,717 cumulative hours have been spent helping survivors and first responders
- Disaster operation locations include:
- The Salvation Army's Ponce Corps (main location), Caguas EDS facility and Guayama Kroc Center
- Additional food and goods distributions are taking place in the Lares, La Luna, Playa Santa, Guanica, Lajas and Peñuelas communities. Those seeking support can find The Salvation Army's distribution sites at the following municipality facilities. Note: Physical addresses are challenging in areas, so GPS coordinates are provided for those sites.
- Ponce: Estadio Poquito Montaner 18.002389, -66.631843
- Yauco: Estadio Mario Nato Ramirez 18.022316, -66.858485
- Peñuelas: Pista Atletica 18.046823, -66.720530
- Guanica: Pista Atletica 17.975489, -66.910541
- As of Wednesday, January 15, the following goods and services have been distributed to those in need:
- 2,180 emotional and spiritual care cases
- 4,272 meals
- 7,851 drinks
- 3,572 snacks
- 3,126 hygiene kits
- 4,105 clothing items
How to Help
- To contribute to The Salvation Army's Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts, visit HelpSalvationArmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
- The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts.
For more information on The Salvation Army's emergency disaster response, visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.