Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico today announced that the fund met its original $1 million fundraising target last Friday, and has rocketed past $1.3 million in pledges as it begins making grants to grassroots Puerto Rican nonprofits.
The Fund reached the $1 million mark with a mix of small and large gifts, ranging from small individual gifts to gifts from a number of corporate and individual donors, according to fund administrators at the Boston Foundation. The MassMutual Foundation became the latest major gift donor, joining more than a dozen other businesses and organizations pledging gifts to the fund. In addition, the fund has been named the beneficiary of a number of planned fundraisers across Massachusetts, which will continue to grow the amount available for grant making. Interest in the fund remains strong – more than 14,000 people have visited the Fund home page at tbf.org/puertorico to learn about the fund since the launch on September 29, and in many cases, those visits have led to donations.
“We have received gifts from throughout Massachusetts, as people see the continued challenges facing millions of their fellow Americans,” said Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, co-chair of the Fund. “They know this is no short-term situation and are rallying around efforts to make a continuing investment in organizations that will be working day in and day out for the people of Puerto Rico – to meet their needs now and in the months to come.”
“So many Massachusetts citizens have shown their love to Puerto Rico by raising over $1 million so quickly,” said Massachusetts House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, the Fund’s honorary vice chair. “Together, we are raising awareness of the travesty that has occurred in Puerto Rico. We must continue to make a difference from one commonwealth to another.”
Hosted in partnership with the Latino Legacy Fund at the Boston Foundation and civic leaders of the Commonwealth's Puerto Rican community, Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico is dedicated to the relief and reconstruction of Puerto Rico and to support any Puerto Ricans displaced to Boston and the Commonwealth as a result of the destruction from Hurricane Maria.
Up to one third of funds raised will be immediately distributed for relief efforts and the remainder of the fund will be deployed through 2018 for reconstruction and economic recovery projects in Puerto Rico and to support relocation efforts in Boston and the Commonwealth. The Fund is targeting grassroots organizations that are working closely with the families and communities directly affected by the hurricane – organizations that may not have the brand recognition of national disaster-relief organizations, but that will play critical roles in the future of the island and its people.
The Fund Advisory Committee is co-chaired by Vanessa Calderón-Rosado of Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA), and Aixa Beauchamp and Juan Carlos Morales from the Latino Legacy Fund. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker serve as honorary co-chairs. The Advisory Committee also includes experts from across Massachusetts who are part of the Puerto Rican diaspora community.
On Friday, the Fund named several new members to the Advisory Committee and made its first grants to six organizations. Details will be included in a subsequent release.
To learn more and for the latest information about Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico, visit tbf.org/puertorico.