Lauren Graham Shows Us Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico
When Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane, hit Puerto Rico in 2017, it devastated the island. A year later, Lauren Graham visited the island to see how your Red Nose Day Donations are funding relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Take a look:
While in Puerto Rico, Lauren met 13-year-old Gabriella.
Gabriella was at home when the storm came. She told Lauren that her family ran to the closet, where the seven of them hid together and prayed for their lives.
Among those hiding in the closet were Gabriella’s young cousins.
“How old are your cousins and who took care of the baby?” Asks Lauren Graham.
(In Spanish) “They were babies and the oldest was three years old and the youngest was only seven months old. I ran with her down the hallway until we got to the closet and I put her inside. I thought something really bad was going to happen to us” Says Gabriella.
She gave Lauren a tour of her home where they still live. It is still devastated.
“It looks shaky.” Observes Lauren. Even a year later, the family has not been able to make many repairs. The home, including the kitchen where no appliances work anymore, is largely dangerous and unlivable.
The wind rushes in from the open walls and ceilings. “That’s not even a fraction of what it must have sounded like during Hurricane Maria,” says Lauren. (Answers in Spanish) “I try not to listen to it too much so I don’t get nervous,” says Gabriella.
There’s a reason to be nervous. Each year brings a new hurricane season, and with that an increased risk of losing their home, access to education, and meals.
Thanks to Red Nose Day donations, relief efforts in Puerto Rico included partnering with The Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide necessary goods – like water, food, hygiene kits and more – to those in need. The funding also went on to help rebuild clubs and expand services for members, including medical support, psychological services, and building resilience.
Back in her home, Gabriella steadies herself by thinking of the future.
“What do you dream of becoming?” Asks Lauren.
(In Spanish) “I dream of being a doctor and if by then we haven’t fixed the house, then I want to help my mom fix it.” Says Gabriella Lauren reflects on the situation after meeting with Gabriella.
“They deserve better. Every kid I talk to has a dream. No one here is asking for help. But I wanted to come here and be the person to ask for help. Please give what you can, it is needed, appreciated, important and it is our responsibility. These people deserve more.”
Learn more about our crisis response and recovery efforts here.
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