Rap Star Is Helping Cancer Sufferers Get Chemo

When it comes to helping others, Hollywood stars and Grammy award-winners are often at an advantage. Many musicians use their fame to give back via charity benefit concerts. However, American rapper Pitbull is using a more hands-on approach, helping Puerto Rican cancer sufferers get chemo by flying them to the U.S.

The singer, whose real name is Armando Christian Perez, was thanked by Puerto Rico congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez on Twitter.

“Thank you @pitbull for lending your private plane to move cancer patients from PR to USA so that they can get chemo,” she wrote.

The island was recently devastated by Hurricane Maria, leaving many without basic necessities. A number of ill and injured remain stranded. Pitbull’s occasional collaborator Jennifer Lopez has since donated $1 million to aid hurricane victims.

“Thank God we’re blessed to help. Just doing my part,” [said Pitbull.]

We may like to think so, but stars aren’t all about glamor. Often, we forget they’re human too.

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Surfing Dogs Raise Funds For Orphan Pets

Dogs have been known to help people and fellow animals alike. From planting trees to assisting baby cheetahs, we can rest assured that they care about the world. After Hurricane Harvey, there is a particularly fascinating story involving our furry friends that caught my attention. Some surfing dogs are looking out for their own, raising funds for orphan pets.

The 12th annual surf competition for dogs raised $80,000 to help orphan pets at the Rancho Santa Fe-based Helen Woodward Animal Center, including more than 60 rescued dogs and cats from Hurricane Harvey.

The Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon lasted 6 hours and attracted over 5,000 guests. Dogs, separated into weight classes, surfed in 10-minute heats. To be honest, I’m not sure what I am more impressed with — the funds raised, the cause that the funds are supporting, or the fact that these dogs are practically amazing athletes.

The canine surf fest also included a costume contest for pooches to show off beach wear and freestyle surf competition, where points were awarded for creativity.

I am bummed to have missed such a lighthearted event. But more than that, I am also proud that our two-legged friends have been participating in relief efforts — and doing fantastic jobs at it! Truly, anything is paw-sible.

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Richard Branson To Rebuild A Greener Caribbean

With Alphabet and Tesla taking over damage control on Puerto Rico, the Caribbean islands are waiting patiently in the wings. Struck by two category 5 hurricanes in the span of a few months, the territory is a war-zone. Stepping in to rebuild a more sustainable paradise is British billionaire Richard Branson.

“Another storm could strike within the coming weeks,” Branson told a meeting of leaders in Washington earlier this month. “The Caribbean must seize the opportunity and take the leap from 20th-century technology to 21st-century innovation.”

The project, dubbed the “Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan” hopes to bring clean energy into the country. So far, it’s best bet is to invest in wind and solar. Comparing the damage to that caused by a nuclear blast, Branson hopes not only to help the islands recover, but transform.

“We want to move the Caribbean countries into clean energy and make them more sustainable, which will make dealing with hurricanes much easier,” he said. “The Caribbean Heads of State agree with one voice that this is a good idea.”

As with any disaster, finding an efficient way to recuperate takes priority. But future prevention is by far the closest second.

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Texan Uses Coupon Collection To Help Hurricane Victims

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has proved to be equally as hopeful as it was devastating. People are doing all they can for one another, from making pizza deliveries to baking thousands of loaves of bread. A month after the floods, this Texan mom continues to give back, using her coupon collection to help victims.

“Many hurricane evacuees are asking for pampers, wipes and formula. I don’t have any of that stuff in my stockpile but I have tons of coupons for them,”

Kimberly Gager collected coupons to the extreme, enough to stockpile goods to fill her garage. Neighbors have also helped fund her cause, in addition to contacting those in need of assistance.

“It is definitely a second job. I get very little sleep… Once I finish my daytime job, I am hitting the store. Sometimes I even do this during lunch, before work, everything.”
Like any working mom, Gager can’t avoid the wrath of exhaustion. However, she remains passionate about helping others, having been the victim of hurricane damage back in 1999. Gager continues to donate items, proving that being a hoarder can truly come in handy.
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Cruise Ship Rescues Puerto Rican Evacuees

Coverage on the recent hurricanes may have come to an end, but the support never ceases. Whether it’s from Pizza Hut or millionaire Marc Bell, the outpouring of donations has been plentiful. Another unlikely hero emerged just a few days ago — in the form of a cruise ship. The Royal Caribbean is bringing donations and assisting in evacuations for Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria.

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship is heading to St. Thomas and St Croix too and will be evacuating nearly 3,000 people including families of Royal Caribbean employees. The ship will drop off relief supplies at each of the three stops before taking the evacuees to Fort Lauderdale on October 3, before resuming normal operations next month.

As an incentive for would-have-been passengers, re-bookers will receive future cruise credit. Regular operations will resume on October 7 once the ship returns to San Juan. A ship of its size, the Royal Caribbean is proving to be an asset in disaster relief. Sometimes, the pleasure is in giving.

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Couple Postpones Wedding To Rescue Florida Citizens

For the recent victims of Harvey and Irma, several knights in shining armor have come to the rescue. This includes big businesses like Houston Bike Share, that are making donations to families who have lost cars. They also include individuals such as this air force couple who postponed their wedding to rescue Florida citizens.

Michael Davis and Lauren Durham were supposed to get married in mid-September. But one week before the big day, the couple decided to skip their scheduled wedding in order to rescue strangers from Hurricane Irma.

Both are medical technicians, and while their hearts were with one another, they were also with the victims who needed them. Instead of wedding on Atlantic Beach, the two exchanged vows in a Florida hangar.

“The Air Force lives by the creed ‘service before self,’ ” Davis says. “So that’s what we’re here for, to put the citizens first.”

I guess, then, that it’s true. Love can move mountains. Or, in this case, move victims to safety.

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Hurricane Harvey Victims Are Receiving Free Bicycles

When it comes to natural disasters, no one is safe. Hurricane Harvey, which rampaged around Houston, ruined homes and establishments alike. While many are eager to help, people need to be mindful of the appropriate measures to take. Some, like Houston Bike Share, are going the extra mile by helping victims ride out the damage by giving them free bicycles.

“We’re really pushing this as helping someone who lost a vehicle, but we also have cases where there’s families asking if we have kids’ bikes so their kids would be able to bike to school, because without a family car, they’re running around not knowing the best way to get who where,”

The storm destroyed nearly a million cars, a tragedy for 94.4% of Houston households that use them. Insurance is saving the day for 85% of car insurance holders, but leaving the remaining 15% in the dust.

“You’ve got some people who have been displaced to areas where they can’t take their regular form of public transportation. And so we’re open to those applicants as well.”

As of today, bike manufacturing companies have donated around 450 bicycles. That should be keeping the Houston ball rolling!

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Here Are The Best Ways To Help Disaster Victims

Over the past month, areas in Asia and the United States have been hit by the most devastating floods and hurricanes the planet has seen in years. Despite the wreckage, many have been eager to help. While it may seem simple enough to plan an independent search-and-rescue, it isn’t always the most efficient option. Here are the best ways you can help disaster victims.

Donations in kind may seem the most practical, but monetary donations go to much better use. This allows groups to determine exactly what is needed. Direct your funds towards general relief, which can easily be accomplished online. Do research before deciding where you want your donations to go. You want relief groups — even the big dogs — to be transparent about where the money is ending up. There are also scammers taking advantage of times like this, so be extra diligent when donating.

As with any disaster, injuries are inevitable. This is where help goes beyond your wallet. Consider providing medical assistance. Groups that accept emergency medical kits are often specific about its contents. Some of the items include insulin, asthma inhalers, and various medicines. For the non-squeamish, you can opt to participate in blood drives. Otherwise, it’s also a perfectly good opportunity to overcome your fear of needles. For all you know, a single prick can go a long way.

Because disasters are known to displace hundreds (or thousands), food banks are also a good place to start. As with most organizations, it’s best to donate money. However, you can also be involved in food drives and help out at soup kitchens. Periodically, food banks will also be affected by flooding, among other factors. Preparing meals quickly and systematically is vital.

Some groups provide aid for specific people. Find out what you can do for persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and children. This may involve direct rescues, which are best carried out in organized efforts as opposed to individual ones. Instead of scrambling to father a group, sign up with volunteer portals. This may also give your efforts more direction and help avoid ending up in random, hazardous areas.

Of course, when accounting for the entire family, it’s best to keep your four-legged member in the picture. Sadly, owners and their pets are often separated, whether by accident or deliberately. While it may be liberating to berate irresponsible pet owners, it’s better to get involved in animal rescue. Animal organizations are active in pet evacuations and also offer resources on pet-friendly housing for found pets. You can also donate to shelters or — even better — adopt a dog or cat. Other relief efforts involve the distribution of pet food and handling of the animals at shelters.

Ensuring your own safety is the most important part of giving back. Without you, there would be no chance to do so. If you feel your contributions are minuscule, remember that you are part of a larger community doing good. And, who knows? Your drop in the ocean could cause a ripple.

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