All five living former Presidents of the United States have teamed up to launch a joint effort to raise money to help the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from Hurricane Maria.
The campaign, titled “One America Appeal,” will allow donors to choose between the United for Puerto Rico fund and The Fund for the Virgin Islands, both 501 (c)(3) organizations.
Individuals can also donate to recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey.
“Now individuals, foundations and institutions making tax deductible donations at OneAmericaAppeal.org may choose to assist all three recovery efforts from Hurricanes Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida and Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands – or to direct their donation to a specific recovery effort – using the drop-down menu in the website’s donation section,” the campaign said in a press release.
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama first launched a joint fundraiser earlier this month after Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast. The campaign was expanded to include Florida after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the state earlier this month.
Puerto Rico officials are pressuring Congress and the White House to fast-track disaster relief funds to Puerto Rico, where millions still remain without power after Hurricane Maria and the governor warns of a looming “humanitarian crisis.”
“We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now,” Governor Ricardo Rosselló told CNN on Monday. “Otherwise, there will be … a massive exodus to the (mainland) United States.”
“We need to prevent a humanitarian crisis occurring in America,” he warned.
Hillary Clinton urged the Department of Defense to send a Navy medical ship to the crippled island.
“The Trump Administration must act immediately to make available additional Department of Defense resources for search-and-rescue operations, law enforcement and transportation needs,” she said in a statement Monday. “Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands deserve to know that their government will be there for them, without question or hesitation.”