Students are collecting donations during all lunch blocks until October 26 to support Puerto Rico. Collections to date total $1003. The kindness club is also collecting donations. The money collected during this schoolwide fundraiser will be sent to the Boston Foundation; they will channel the funds to different humanitarian organizations supporting Puerto Rican hurricane victims both on the island and in the U.S. Find more information at http://www.tbf.org/giving/make-a-gift/boston-united-for-puerto-rico.
Please make checks payable to "City of Newton" with Puerto Rico in the memo and place them in the World Language mailbox in the main office.
Here is an update on the situation in Puerto Rico provided by Ana Tellado-Schiff, World Languages Department.
A month ago, on September 20, 2017 Hurricane Maria swept over Puerto Rico and changed the lives of almost every resident on the island. It left the entire island without electricity or running water. Today, a month later (October 19), 79% still do not have electricity and 29% of the 3.4 million Puerto Ricans living on the island do not have running water. There are still thousands of people collecting rainwater or going to a river to be able to flush their toilets or wash their laundry. Many people are also at the mercy of the government and good Samaritans to get drinking water because the bodies of water they can access are contaminated. When they cannot get clean water, they will drink it dirty and risk getting sick.Many lost their homes and their source of income. Over 4,000 are living in shelters and others are living with family or friends. Some are living in whatever remains of their house so they are not counted among the displaced/homeless, though they are living in substandard condition.
Many Puerto Ricans still do not have cell signal or wifi. Some students just went back to school last week and most have not returned to school yet since their schools are functioning as shelters and soup kitchens. Many students who have returned to school are in dark hallways and classrooms and have no water in the bathrooms.
Several places of employment are unable to open or pay their employees. Agriculture and tourism are essentially gone. Retail jobs have dwindled since many buildings are not in working condition. The black out is affecting transportation, the storage of food, sewage disposal, the economy, the physical safety of the citizens, and their mental health. (Sources: www.status.pr, words from people in the island, and news reports from NBC, CBS, CNN.)