Late September, after witnessing the devastation from Hurricane Maria firsthand, Governor Andrew Cuomo
launched the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, where the majority of the island remains without power, transportation is difficult as roads are either washed out or obstructed by debris, and supplies are running dangerously low, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"After seeing the breathtaking devastation and unfathomable need for help firsthand in Puerto Rico, I am launching this effort to put the full weight of New York's resources behind the Puerto Rican people," Governor Cuomo
stated. "New York has a long and proud history of standing up to help those in need, and with millions of Puerto Ricans suffering, we must do everything we can to help our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters recover. I thank our partners who have already donated and encourage all New Yorkers to lend a hand as we work together to help this community rebuild."
Locally, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital
, as well as Stony Brook Medicine
and other local healthcare organizations, have joined the relief efforts.
"It's important to lend a hand to those who need it most," said Steven Bernstein
, Chief Development Officer at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and Southampton Hospital Foundation President. "We are willing to do whatever we can to help Puerto Rico recover from this devastating storm."
Stony Brook Southampton Hospital (240 Meeting House Lane, Southampton) has placed a donation box in the main lobby to collect vital items, including batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, diapers, baby wipes, cases of water, and feminine hygiene products, which must be unopened and in their original packaging. Provisions will be transported to an Empire State Relief and Recovery collection site every weekend, starting on Saturday, October 7. Financial contributions are also being collected. Checks can be made payable to Southampton Hospital Foundation with a note clarifying that it is for the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund. All checks should be mailed to the Foundation at 240 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, NY 11968. For more information, call 631-726-8200 or visit southampton.stonybrookmedicine.edu
Stony Brook Medicine is also assembling a group of medical personnel, including some from Southampton, who will go to Puerto Rico to provide clinical aid to hospitals throughout the island.
Additionally, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr
. has teamed up with Long Island Cares
, one of the region's most comprehensive hunger assistance organizations, and New York State to hold a food drive for Puerto Rico.
Non-perishable food items or supplies can be dropped off at the Assemblyman's Office (2302 Main Street, Suite A in Bridgehampton). Cleaning materials, including garbage bags and latex gloves, and also personal care products, like shampoo/soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes/toothpaste and toilet paper, as well as other miscellaneous items, such as flashlights, batteries and mosquito repellent, are needed. You can also support the Assemblyman's online drive through YouGiveGoods at yougivegoods.com
. Collected items will be delivered to Long Island Cares, packed by volunteers and sent to the Central Donation Center at the NYS Office Building in Hauppauge, where the State will ship the donations to Puerto Rico.
For more information on the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit www.ny.gov.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com