How to help Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic after Fiona

Hundreds of people have been evacuated or rescued in Puerto Rico’s southwestern coastal communities, and others on the island and Dominican Republic remain at risk as Hurricane Fiona continues to devastate the region.

Most of the Caribbean island has been left without power and water after the hurricane made landfall on Sunday with winds hitting 85 miles per hour and a historic amount of rain.

The rain from the hurricane continued Monday, prompting the National Hurricane Center to raise concerns about additional impacts such as life-threatening flash floods, overflowing rivers and debris flows.

On Tuesday, the storm poured 30 inches of rain into the Dominican Republic, causing flooding and mudslides. The country is still grappling with the storm, which has already left 1 million people without running water.

Hurricane Fiona made its devastating impact on Puerto Rico, five years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept across the island just weeks apart in 2017. These storms destroyed the power grid and killed about 3,000 people.

The island is still working to recover from the earlier storms. To date, more than 3,000 houses have only a blue tarpaulin as a roof.

The American Red Cross, Project Hope and a number of other US and international relief groups are raising funds to help the two islands. Additionally, several Puerto Rican organizations that have been helping their communities since 2017 now need help to continue their work. Here’s how you can get involved in this local effort.

Big salute

What it does: Taller Salud is a feminist, community-based, nonprofit organization in Puerto Rico dedicated to improving women’s access to health care, reducing violence in community settings, and promoting economic development through education and activism.

How can you help: The nonprofit organization is currently accepting items and money for those affected by the hurricane. Items needed include non-perishable food, toiletries, solar lanterns, water filters, and water. They can be sent to their offices:

Big salute
Calle 1 D40
Urb Jardines de Loíza, PR 00772


Big salute
Carr 187 km 24.4 Parcelas Vieques
#33 Mediania Alta
Loíza, PR 00772.

Monetary donations are also accepted through PayPal and Network for Good.

The lucky givers

What it does: The Happy Givers is a nonprofit organization that directly manages and supports a home rebuilding program in Puerto Rico and provides relief efforts during natural disasters. (She also runs a children’s home in Peru.)

How can you help: The foundation is currently accepting donations as it prepares to host and feed families on its campus. You can support The Happy Givers’ efforts by purchasing an item from their online store; 100% of proceeds go to rebuilding projects in Puerto Rico. When it’s safe, they also encourage volunteers to stay on campus and help with things like lightweight construction or cooking.

Pisadas de Amor Foundation

What it does: The nonprofit organization provides food, home furnishings, and mental health support to older adults and families in Puerto Rico, all with the goal of improving the quality of life.

How can you help: Julio Enrique Soto Cuban, president and founder of the organization, took to Facebook to urge the community to check on their elders. The organization accepts monetary donations to continue its work.

La Brigada Solidaria del Oeste

What it does: The group is a community initiative (a “mutual aid” group) in Puerto Rico composed of leaders from various organizations and communities. Their goal is to promote community self-government and develop ways to solve problems without government help.

How can you help: La Brigada Solidaria del Oeste and allied organizations activate their mutual support network after Hurricane Fiona. The group accepts monetary donations to directly help affected communities.

Volunteer organizations in Puerto Rico active in the disaster

What it does: Puerto Rico Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is a subsidiary of the national group National VOAD. The chapter’s mission is to strengthen the capacities of organizations working together in the area to respond to disaster-affected communities.

How can you help: The organization welcomes volunteers, but asks that you contact their office first by calling 787-330-0382 or emailing After the organization has had a chance to assess the damage and identify unmet needs, they will match you with a trusted Puerto Rican VOAD member to work with – so be patient.

It also accepts monetary donations to support its members locally.

Hispanic Federation

What it does: The Hispanic Federation seeks to empower and support the Hispanic community and strengthen Latino institutions through disaster relief, college achievement programs, nonprofit advocacy, public education, and national bipartisan civic engagement. Its UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program serves the immediate and long-term needs of families and communities in Puerto Rico.

How can you help: The organization is currently accepting monetary donations to bring emergency services and supplies directly to those in Puerto affected by Hurricane Fiona. You can donate once or monthly.

Direct Relief

What it does: Direct Relief works across the United States and internationally to expand access to medicine and health care by empowering physicians and nurses with life-saving medical resources. It proactively provides emergency medical care with health facilities in hurricane-prone regions of the Gulf Coast and Caribbean.

How can you help: The organization accepts one-time or monthly cash donations to support their efforts in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries affected by Fiona.

Diaspora for Puerto Rico, Inc.

What it does: Based in New York City, the nonprofit was founded by Puerto Ricans who moved to the United States over the past decade. It seeks to promote the well-being, self-sufficiency, and empowerment of the Puerto Rican community through access to information about services, organizations, events, and contacts to build a support network.

How can you help: It is currently raising cash donations to support those affected by Hurricane Fiona on the island, with a fundraising goal of $50,000.

You can also purchase items from the nonprofit’s Amazon Wishlist, such as: B. Portable solar generators, emergency radios, portable fans and solar chargers.

Stronger than Mary

What it does: Stronger than Maria is a non-profit organization founded to improve the living standards of people affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017. It does this by rebuilding homes, distributing food and water, providing necessary household items, and providing financial support to families in need.

How can you help: It is currently providing disaster relief in Puerto Rico and is in need of assistance. The non-profit organization accepts cash donations through PayPal.

About the Times Utility Journalism Team

This article is from the Times’ Utility Journalism team. Our mission is to be essential to the lives of people in Southern California by publishing information that solves problems, answers questions, and aids in decision making. We serve audiences in and around Los Angeles—including current Times subscribers and diverse communities whose needs have not been met by our coverage in the past.

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