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Photo courtesy of OEM
Photo courtesy of OEM
Queens firehouses will be accepting donations to send to victims of Hurricane Maria.

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, destroying homes and killing at least 10 people, Mayor Bill de Blasio is asking residents to donate critical supplies to the island.

The mayor announced on Friday that 18 firehouses and EMS stations would be collecting critical supplies from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. De Blasio has not yet announced an end date for this drive.

New York City has a large Puerto Rican population — more than 700,000 — and several elected officials from the commonwealth who still have family living there are urging New Yorkers to donate.

“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 Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who moved to New York from Puerto Rico at 18. “I strongly encourage New Yorkers to donate at their nearest participating firehouse or EMS station, or volunteer in whichever capacity possible.”

The island’s power grid has been completely destroyed, making it hard for family members to get in touch. Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló has said it may take months to restore power.

At a press conference to announce the assistance New York is sending to Puerto Rico, Mark-Viverito said several elected officials have not been able to get in touch with family members.

Engine 316 at 27-12 Kearney Street in East Elmhurst; Engine 289/Ladder 138 at 97-28 43rd Ave. in Corona; and Engine 307/Ladder 154 at 81-17 Northern Blvd. in Jackson Heights are all accepting the following donations:

  • Diapers
  • Baby food
  • Batteries
  • First-aid supplies
  • Feminine hygiene products

NYPD, FDNY and Office of Emergency Management personnel will head down to Puerto Rico to help with recovery efforts and the mayor said he will accommodate city employees who want to travel to the island to help. City residents can also visit  nyc.gov/fund to donate specifically to Puerto Rico. You can also visit Hispanicfederation.org/donate to donate to the Hispanic Federation’s relief efforts.

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