Friday, October 20, 2017

Group raising funds to aid Puerto Rico

From left, Beatriz Flores, Erica Leon-Torres and Freddie Pagan, listen to stories from Buffalo residents who have family members in Puerto Rico struggling to get back on their feet after hurricanes Irma and Maria. Freddie Pagan founded Mission Puerto Rico 716, whose mission is to send relief to hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico. On Oct. 11 the organization held its second meeting, at the El Batey Dance Center, 289 Dewitt St. Pagan co-hosted the event with his sister Erica Leon-Torres, director of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, and Beatriz Flores, community leader “We need money donations, we need canned food and batteries, we need generators but we really need volunteers here and in Puerto Rico who are serious about doing this,” Flores said. The group set a long-term fundraising goal of $30,000 to $40,000  for supplies. Attendees included business owners, and individuals interested in raising money, including some who have already sold food, wristbands and T-shirts. While the organization is dedicated to sending relief to Puerto Rico, it also assists in the relocation of families in Buffalo. People who are interested in donating can find more information on the organization’s GoFundMe account and follow Mission Puerto Rico 716 on Facebook for updates on future meetings. By Tatiyana Bellamy and Edwin Viera