Photo Courtesy of FDNY
Three firehouses in Queens are accepting donations.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The City on Friday urged New Yorkers to donate critically needed items for residents of Puerto Rico which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced 18 firehouses and EMS stations across the five boroughs – including three in Queens – where residents can bring the items they wish to give.
In the World’s Borough, you can drop off donations from 7 a.m. through 9 p.m. at Engine Co. 316: 27-12 Kearney St., East Elmhurst; Engine Co. 289/Ladder Co. 138: 97-28 43rd Ave., Corona; Engine Co. 307/Ladder Co. 154: 81-17 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights.
The administration has encouraged the donation of items that are needed for recovery, including:
• Baby food
• First Aid Supplies
• 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 returned.
“Donations of necessities – such as baby food, feminine hygiene products, and first aid supplies – are of utmost importance after any natural disaster, and can help relieve the burden on residents and families who are struggling after the impact of the recent storm,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is of Puerto Rican descent. “I strongly encourage New Yorkers to donate at their nearest participating firehouse or EMS station, or volunteer in whichever capacity possible. New Yorkers have always helped out our neighbors in times of need, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we stand ready to provide assistance to Puerto Rico.”
The City also announced efforts it’s making to help with the recovery. In addition to deploying 36 members of the Urban Search and Rescue New York Task Force 1 to Puerto Rico, NYC is also deploying Emergency Management employees with expertise in logistics, debris management, operations, and recovery to San Juan to assist in Puerto Rico’s Emergency Operations Center.
Additionally, City employees have received an email informing them of the option to make a donation from their paychecks to Hurricane Maria relief efforts. The funds, which will be directed through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will be distributed to organizations working to support the 3.5 million Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean residents who have been impacted by this storm.
And, according to the administration, once it is determined which skill sets are needed from volunteers, the City will work with the mayor of San Juan to make sure that NYC employees who wish to volunteer will have assistance in doing so. Those who possess relevant and needed skillset will be especially needed and the City will connect those employees to organizations already working on the ground.
“The people of New York City and Puerto Rico are inextricably linked with many of our residents having Puerto Rican roots and family and friends on the Island. New Yorkers take care of each other in times of need and this same spirit extends to the people of Puerto Rico as they respond to this historic disaster,” said U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan). “I’m proud to see the mayor taking these practical steps and will continue working at the federal level to boost assistance to the Island.”