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.
For Puerto Rico, tech giants Tesla and Alphabet are easing the struggle of getting back on the grid. While one group is providing Powerwall batteries, the other is supplying an Internet connection. Even so, the hurdles have just begun, and so has Tesla, now restoring power to hospitals with solar energy.
The hospital’s new system allows it to generate all the energy it needs… The facility has 35 permanent residents with chronic conditions; it also offers services to some 3,000 young patients.
Due to the gravity of the energy crisis, the system is a donation — for now. Since it began to recuperate, Puerto Rico’s power service has risen to 25%. Though many have been reaching out to the territory, complete recovery of losses will cut $5 billion deep into budgets. At this point, it seems Puerto Rico is accepting any bit of help it can get.
The territory’s electric and power authority signed a $300 million contract with Whitefish, a small and relatively young Montana company, to restore the power grid.
The nation is months away from a breakthrough in terms of improvement, but with Tesla to count on, might be worth the wait.
Puerto Rico’s recovery has been slow-moving, but the outpouring of helping hands has remained on the rise. Donors across the globe are raffling items for funds and pledging hoarded supplies to get people on their feet. While the devastated country is slipping from headlines, some, like Jayden Perez, refuse to give up. To help Puerto Rican kids, the 8-year-old is collecting toys, and has scored over a thousand in just two weeks.
Kids lost a lot of their toys, and now they don’t have any,” Jayden tells the camera [in a Facebook post]. “So can you donate one toy, from the bottom of my heart and the bottom of your heart?”
According to Perez’s mother Ana Rosado, the family has also raised a sum of more than $6,000. Describing the selfless act as holiday cheer may now be an understatement.
“I think it’s a great experience for Jayden to see what these kids have gone through and the smile that he’s going to bring to them when he gives them the toys,” Rosado said.
The family will venture out onto the island to personally distribute the toys. Santa better watch out — there’s a new one in town!
Following an outpour of support from dozens of celebrities, more helping hands are heading Puerto Rico’s way. This time, department store chain TJ Maxx is continuing to send paychecks to its employees in the devastated territory.
“Based on the devastating situation in Puerto Rico, we can confirm that we have continued to pay our TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods Associates on the island,” a spokesperson for TJX said.
Since Hurricane Maria struck in September, Puerto Rico has seen at least 500 fatalities. Thousands of displaced locals remain out of a job. Above its steady distribution of paychecks, TJX is also providing its workers with food and water.
Netizens have flocked onto social media to express their gratitude for TJX’s gesture. It’s good to know that every American’s go-to for best buys is putting people above profit.
I believe it’s in every child’s nature to want to help others. Media may be an issue, but for the most part, kids seem inherently willing to put others first. It’s youngsters who raise funds for deaf children and go out of their way to help drowning swimmers that confirm my beliefs. Seven-year-old Alex Ibarra is another commendable adolescent. The avid football fan auctioned a jersey signed by Christian Pulisic in order to raise funds for Puerto Rico.
“I’m raffling it off because I’m trying to raise money for the Puerto Ricans that don’t have food and water,” Alex said. “Puerto Rico’s really important to me because they’re one of our territories.”
With much of the country void of power, food, and water, the donation will do wonders. Altogether, Alex and the American Outlaws (Oakland) raised $3,283.87 to contribute to the Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund.
With Alex’s generosity going viral, Pulisic himself promised to send another signed jersey and pledged a donation as well. For a kid whose age hasn’t yet hit double-digits, I’d say Alex is doing pretty well.
In devastated Puerto Rico, faulty cellphone service is a pressing issue. While Tesla is working to revive the territory’s power grid, loved ones are having trouble reaching others abroad. But the country in crisis is getting the help it needs, thanks to Google’s parent company. Alphabet is bringing Internet back to Puerto Rico by balloon.
Project Loon was born in Alphabet’s moonshot X division, with the aim of serving the half of the world’s population that is still without internet access. It has launched several successful pilot projects, but has yet to be deployed commercially on a wide scale.
30 balloons will be hovering over Puerto Rico for up to 6 months. A single balloon can power up to 5,000 square kilometers of coverage. Project Loon, which is currently active in Peru, will be useful in easing communications between groups.
“Some people, even though we’ve documented the fact… that we’ve delivered food and water, it hasn’t gotten to some of them. Now, it could be for a whole host of reasons. One of them could be that they couldn’t hear it; the information didn’t get to them.” [said governor Ricardo Rosselló.]
As compared to the existing setup in Peru, Loon will experience some turbulence in Puerto Rico. It currently lacks a wireless network — but with Alphabet’s previous successes, shouldn’t be too big of an issue.
Puerto Rico may be underwater both literally and economically — but with the help of others, things are looking optimistic. While motor company Tesla is working on restoring the island’s power grid, celebrity chef José Andrés is feeding its hungry. 74-year-old Joseph Badame has now also become an unexpected hero. The doomsday hoarder donated his entire food stock to hungry victims.
Badame had gathered 80 barrels of food that each could sustain 84 people for four months. He said the food, which included dried beans, rice, flour, sugar, pancake mixes and more, would have been thrown away otherwise.
The doomsday prep began in the 1970’s. It was a project of Badame’s alongside late wife Phyliss. Equipped with a furnished bomb shelter, it’s no surprise that the supplies remained intact. The disaster proved that there was more to life than life itself — or the fact that it would end in an apocalypse.
“Phyliss and I prepared all this for one group of people and it turns out it’s going to help another group of people,” he said. “That’s wonderful.”
Looks like decades of stockpiling were truly worth the hassle.
Now that we know discarded laptops are capable of powering households, we ought to give simple batteries more credit. Ultimately, they’ve been an asset to communities affected by the recent hurricanes, and Tesla seems to agree. The motor company is sending Powerwall batteries to Puerto Rican homes, which currently lacks most basic necessities.
The battery pack in question is called the Powerwall, an in-home electricity solution that could hugely benefit people whose homes have been knocked off the power grid. Besides gasoline-fueled generators that are keeping power on at hospitals, the entire island is basically without power.
Due to shortages in electricity, affected residents can’t store their food. In turn, shortages of other materials worsen. Right now, Tesla is moving mountains for the devastated island, making up for the slow movements of the U.S. federal government.
Tesla employees are actually on the ground in Puerto Rico, helping to install hundreds of the battery packs, as well as performing repairs to damaged solar panels.
There is much controversy surrounding President Trump’s critical approach to San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz. Her desperate pleas for help don’t really make Twitter rants an appropriate response.
Stories of Houston bakers donating bread to hurricane victims and an air force couple postponing their wedding to rescue Floridians have undisputedly warmed our hearts. Among the wreckage, we appreciate the good news — and we’re glad it hasn’t stopped there. Hollywood stars are posting hilarious childhood snaps on social media in an effort to raise funds for Puerto Rico.
“I’m happy to announce that for every celebrity—and I get to determine who’s a celebrity—who posts their awkward teenage photos with the hashtags #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief, the AmeriCone Dream Foundation will donate $1,000 to One America Appeal,” [Steven] Colbert announced [on his show].
Since the call-out, actors such as Reese Witherspoon, Steve Martin, and Kathy Griffin have publicly embarrassed themselves for the cause. These celebrities join Jennifer Lopez, who donated $1 million, and Beyonce, who is forwarding proceeds from her single to charities, in the fight to help Puerto Rico.
Trying times may call for desperate measures — but we sure do enjoy a laugh for charity. And if you aren’t of celebrity status, there are still a handful of ways to give back.
Houston bakers and Pizza Hut employees alike have made efforts to feed hurricane victims in Texas. We unfortunately can’t say the same for anyone in Puerto Rico — unless you’re José Andrés. The Spanish-American chef opened feeding stations for thousands of Puerto Ricans.
Since Andrés landed, he and his volunteers have been able to deliver some 8,000 meals a day to those in need. Footage posted to the chef’s Twitter account… shows sandwiches, paella and other meals being made by his crew from World Central Kitchen.
Despite the occasional ingredient shortages, Andrés and his team have powered through, inviting other chefs to join them. The Twitter hashtag #chefsforPuertoRico has allowed cooks across the nation to communicate and organize donations. (All hail the power of social media!)
Andrés [expressed]… he would like to expand his efforts to the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, which… is completely devastated in Maria’s aftermath and is likely not to receive aid until Puerto Rico does.
Andrés has also taken to online platforms to advise President Trump on proper relief etiquette. That’s a chef I don’t want to mess with.