Hispanic Chamber passes the hat for Puerto Rico

With much of Florida still reeling from Hurricane Irma, the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has launched a relief effort for a different disaster.

The chamber is seeking donations for victims of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico this week.

The organization has set a goal of $250,000 for its “Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief” initiative.

The money will be earmarked for emergency supplies such as bottled water, canned goods, dried foods, medication, pillows and blankets, shovels and hammers, and other necessary items, according to a press release issued by the Hispanic chamber Friday.

Florida is home to a growing number of Puerto Ricans, who have abandoned the island as its economic woes worsen. A report issued last year showed that the number of Puerto Ricans in the state grew by 94 percent between 2000 and 2014.

 “The island’s entire 3.5 million population is without power, and many residents need immediate medical relief,” Julio Fuentes, President and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said in the release. “It is important we do our part to help alleviate their pain and assist our fellow Americans as they recover and rebuild.”

By Jim Turner.