‘Rays Of Hope’ Community Service Initiative Helping Hurricane Maria Victims
It has raised more than $50,000 for United Way and even adopted a small town in Puerto Rico, to which it is sending relief supplies. The company has made arrangements to adopt Patillas, Puerto Rico, a remote town located in the southern part of the island.
Patillas was one of the first towns affected when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. Because Patillas has no port access, it has been largely cut off from relief efforts and shipments of supplies, putting its more than 20,000 residents in a desperate situation with a scarcity of clean water, power, cell service, food staples and other essentials.
“AccuWeather is dedicated to saving lives and keeping people out of harm’s way by providing the most accurate weather forecasts and warnings,” said Dr. Joel N. Myers, AccuWeather’s Founder, President and Chairman.
“We warned the people in the area and around the world about the impending hurricanes and their expected impacts, which we know saved thousands of lives, and we are very proud of that. Still it is heartbreaking to know what the people of Puerto Rico are going through now, and, as a company that understands the effects of severe weather perhaps better than anyone, we wanted to help provide relief.”
As part of its Rays of Hope community service initiative, AccuWeather is collecting life-saving staples and goods to fill a shipping container. That container will then be shipped directly to Puerto Rico and delivered to the people of Patillas.
Norberto Soto Figueroa, the Mayor of Patillas provided AccuWeather with a list of items needed to help the people of his community endure this crisis and begin to rebuild their lives. These supplies help families stay clean and healthy, and protect them from diseases and other ailments that can occur after the loss of equipment, infrastructure, fresh food and access to safe water.
“The people I am proud to represent in the town of Patillas are so grateful to AccuWeather,” said Mayor Figueroa. “We are suffering, but it is a relief to know that help is on its way and that people understand and care about our catastrophic and heartbreaking situation.”
NEMF New England Motor Freight and TOTE Shipping have partnered with AccuWeather to provide and ship the container of supplies to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The supplies will be trucked across the island to the Patillas community. From there, the goods will be distributed directly to those in need by a team that includes several employees sent by AccuWeather to help.
Local residents are encouraged to participate in this relief effort by purchasing and bringing any of the items on the collection list by Oct. 24. The container will be located in the parking lot of AccuWeather’s Global Weather Center, 385 Science Park Road, State College, through Wednesday, Oct. 25. AccuWeather employees are volunteering to collect and package the items for shipment.
Collection hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m., on weekends.
Financial contributions, which will be used to supplement needed items on the collection list, can be made to Centre Foundation online at centre-foundation.org. Donors should click on the Fund menu and select Heath and Social Services to access the Rays of Hope Fund. Checks can be mailed to: Centre Foundation, 1377 Ridge Master Drive, State College, PA 16801. Centre Foundation requests that donors write Rays of Hope Fund on the memo line of their checks.
“This AccuWeather Rays of Hope project showcases the great character and concern of our employees. They care about making a difference not just here at home, but across the U.S. and our territories,” said Elizabeth Soroka, Vice President, Human Resources at AccuWeather. “We are very proud of our staff and their excitement about jumping in to show compassion and help the people of Puerto Rico. It is not surprising that such a talented, entrepreneurial group is taking this initiative to contribute time and resources to help those in need. Ultimately, we hope the great work we are doing inspires more volunteerism.”
Visit AccuWeather.com for a flyer that includes the full item collection list.