UW-W students organize Puerto Rico relief drive


Brenda Echeverria, Staff Writer

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student organization Latinos Unidos, along with the Connection Student Council and fraternities Lambda Alpha Upsilon and Tau Kappa Epsilon, are organizing a Puerto Rico relief drive.
Any donations will assist those U.S. citizens affected or displaced by Hurricane Maria.

They are currently accepting donations at the Warhawk Connection Center (WCC) and in the Latinos Unidos office.

“A lot of my office is packed [with donations] and there is even some outside of my office” said Karina Tomei, WCC Graduate Assistant and coordinator of the relief drive.

Some of the items donated so far include clothing, shoes, toys, kits and personal hygiene products. So far there is no set deadline for donations.

The organizers of the drive are still trying to find the best method of sending the donations overseas.

“Post offices are not working properly and the [U.S.] government may be stealing from the people so we are very hesitant to trust an agency,” Tomei said.

The organizers of the drive are currently considering three different options of sending donations. There is an organization in Milwaukee that will also be sending donations. The group are looking into identifying U.S. families in Puerto Rico that could help distribute items once received, or they are considering sponsoring everything through the department.

After nearly a month, the damage is still widespread over the island. Almost 80 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power, according to a recent NPR story. Residents are also experiencing delays of distribution of tarps and other basic supplies, so they could use as much helps as they can get.

Flyers and posters for the drive have been made in hopes of getting more people to donate to the cause. Emily Rodriguez, a member of Latinos Unidos, made a presentation about the drive during a SAGE meeting.

“I’m really glad to hear they are doing this. It’s a great cause and I really think we should all be looking out for one another” UW-W student Eric Flores, who learned about the drive from the presentation that was made at SAGE, said.

To help the cause, donations can be dropped off at the Warhawk Connection Center or at Tomei’s office also located in the WCC any time. For more information about the drive email the WCC at [email protected] or Karina Tomei at [email protected].