The City of Springfield is coming to the forefront in the effort to help those displaced by the hurricane from the past weekend that struck Puerto Rico.
The city has come up with a plan that will see the New North Citizens Council to once again serve as the official relief and resource center for displaced residents of the island who are seeking relief with family members or friends in the city.
The city did something similar back in 2017 during Hurricane Maria.
The Mayor and other officials say that they are only accepting monetary donations for the Puerto Roco Hurricane Fiona Disaster Relief Fund as that will do the most good.
Monetary donations can be made out to New North Citizens Council (NNCC) with attention or C/O to Fiona Hurricane Disaster Relief in the memo section.
In Phase Two, the city could announce additional relief efforts, including food and clothing drives.
Mayor Sarno states, “First, I want to thank City Councilor Maria Perez and NNCC Program Director Rosa Espinoza for reaching out and contacting my office to schedule a meeting so that we can go over our local preparations for a response and be ready to provide relief and assistance to those in need, if necessary. Much as what my administration did in working with New North Citizens Council and our community partners during hurricane Maria five years ago, we have a tested and true process of providing relief and assistance for our brothers and sisters from Puerto Rico, if and when it is needed. First, as Councilor Perez stated, we need to fully assess and review the situation in Puerto Rico before taking next steps. I want to thank New North Citizens Council and Freedom Credit Union for once again stepping up and being ready to provide relief. They will be accepting monetary donations, much like they did in response to hurricane Maria. In addition, in the event of an influx of individuals and families relocating here, we are ready and prepared to help our fellow Americans in any capacity that we can.”
Councilor Perez stated, “We need to first assess the situation in Puerto Rico before we can take next steps. Once we learn more about the situation in Puerto Rico and the aftermath of hurricane Fiona, we will have a better understanding of what is needed and how many individuals and families, if any, will be looking to relocate here to the city of Springfield. In the meantime, I want to thank Mayor Sarno and his administration for meeting with me and NNCC Program Director Rosa Espinoza. Five years ago, while I was serving as the School Committeewoman, we worked with Mayor Sarno and his administration in developing an outreach and disaster relief efforts and initiatives for those in need in the aftermath of hurricane Maria. As we learn more, we stand ready to provide assistance and will follow up with subsequent meetings.”
Meantime, Hurricane Fiona is projected to head north towards Bermuda through Thursday.
(Photo Credit: Springfield Mayor's Office)