How to help Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the broader Caribbean, and earthquake-hit Mexico

Ways to help Hurricane-impacted Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, other parts of the Caribbean, and earthquake-hit Mexico

The suggestions here have been collected from various sources. Donations can be made to various organizations and crowdfunding campaigns below. Money sent via text messages may be quick for the donor, but the Associated Press indicates that charities may need to wait for the service provider to discharge the money. Guidelines to impactful giving after disasters can be found at:

These websites can help in checking on the effectiveness of charitable organizations, (but most crowdfunding campaigns will be more spontaneous without time for getting status as charitable organizations):

RELATED: Hurricane Maria set Puerto Rico back decades, official says


GoFundMe has created a hub that includes all campaigns for Hurricane Maria. You can also find campaigns for individual families seeking help for loved ones. Tax deductible

Support small farmers in Vieques

From Maritza:

“The following initiatives are solid ways to support local efforts at relief and recovery. In general, I recommend organizations that are more grass-roots oriented, without large bureaucracies. I have been familiar with the work of all these groups for years, and endorse their endeavors. Thank you for caring, and feel free to share.”

Humanitarian Needs This non-profit is connected with the reputable Center for a New Economy, with $768,000 raised as of Oct. 6. Their aims focus on immediate humanitarian needs; advocacy in San Juan and Washington, DC; and medium-to-long-term economic development:

Sustainable Agriculture To contribute to the recovery of Puerto Rico’s sustainable agriculture movement, this initiative is coordinating with several respected groups. I have been following this movement and going to the markets weekly since 2003, and think food sovereignty is one of the most important social movements in Puerto Rico today.

Reforestation This long-standing local reputable organization is aiming efforts at reforestation and restoration of natural habitats in Puerto Rico

Community Kitchens This is probably among the most immediate ways your donation can help in Puerto Rico now: with community kitchens serving hot meals in communities hard-hit by the storm. Started in 2013 on the University of Puerto Rico campuses of Río Piedras and Cayey, and now based in Caguas, they have since expanded to include two organic gardens. The kitchens operate on the principles of bartering and self-starting initiative. To donate using Paypal, click “Hacer un donativo” at upper right.

Informal Communities This GoFundMe fund-raising campaign for the acclaimed Community Land Trust of the Caño Martin Peña communities has nearly reached its goal. Donations would directly help the nearly half of the 26,000 inhabitants in this informal neighborhood that suffered serious damage to their homes

From the daughter of a friend – Funding for food at some PR hospitals: The Chief doctor at one of the biggest hospitals in PR – asked for our help because they don’t have a power plant working, therefore they are unable to perform vital surgeries, support patients with dialysis and perform many more critical medical procedures.  It is also heart wrenching to hear that this hospital (and others) have no food or water available for their patients or staff. People are already sick and gravely suffering and now they can’t even eat or drink water.

Along with my sisters and other family members and friends on the island, We have created the “Mano a Mano” fund to help provide food and water to hospitals, elderly centers and others in need – people who can’t have access to food and water because they can’t drive, are too sick or don’t have gas, etc…

With the generous help of Chef Jose Andrés and Chef Jose Enrique, we have been able to provide meals for patients at the Hospital de Carolina and Hospital Centro Médico. We have access to transportation with gas and we will be able to continue to provide food to these hospitals on a daily basis with your help! There is a lot already happening on the island, but we cannot let more innocent people die from simple lack of food or water. We can and we will help, knowing that every dollar counts!

UNICEF The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, is providing immediate support to children in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. 90 percent of every dollar spent goes directly to helping kids. You can donate to UNICEF USA here.

United for Puerto Rico: Beatriz Rosselló, the wife of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, has created an initiative to support hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Donations can be made at

Students with Puerto Rico: Students from around the United States with ties to Puerto Rico have started a GoFundMe campaign to help relief efforts in the wake of Maria. Proceeds from the page will go to United For Puerto Rico, the first lady’s initiative mentioned next. Give to Students With Puerto Rico.

Unidos: A Relief Fund for Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico The Hispanic Federation, along with New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), set up this fund. One hundred percent of proceeds will go to hurricane relief and recovery efforts. You can donate to them here.

The Red Cross: The Red Cross says that it has been on the ground in Puerto Rico before Maria made landfall and it has organized a multi-island relief effort. The organization is in the process of deploying water, rice, beans, ready-to-eat meals, cleanup kits, home repair kits, tarps, trash bags, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, work gloves and more to people in need. Given that cellphone communication is 95% shut down, relief efforts continue to be difficult, the group said. Donate to Red Cross disaster relief here.

The Salvation Army: is set up to receive donations for Harvey Irma Maria hurricane victims:

Caritas de Puerto Rico / Catholic Charities of Puerto Rico: Send check to:

Caritas de Puerto Rico
Po Box 8812
San Juan PR 00910-0812
787-300-4953 – fax: 787-728-3207
Donate to CaritasPR

ConPRmetidos (Puerto Rico-based nonprofit to benefit “immediate needs of food, shelter, water” and more)

SPCA International (help for animal rescue and care)

Center for Popular Democracy

Direct Relief

Save the Children, which focuses specifically on the needs of families and their children.


21 US Virgin Island Relief Fund (NBA star Tim Duncan hoping to raise $5 million for his home country)

All Hands (specific for U.S. Virgin Islands)

Catholic Charities
Donate with a debit or credit card or PayPal
Or by mail to:
The Catholic Chancery
P.O. Box 301825
St. Thomas, V.I. 00803-1825
Checks should be made payable to the Diocese of St. Thomas.  Indicate on the check that it is for the Hurricanes Relief Collection.


Habitat for Humanity (housing and shelter needs)

Americares (emergency and medical supplies)

Former U.S. presidents have expanded their One America Appeal to include recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

OR via Catholic Charities USA: , which works within the US and can take donations on line for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
To mail a check, please make your check payable to Catholic Charities USA and mail your check to:
Catholic Charities USA
P.O. Box 17066
Baltimore, MD  21297-1066


The Miami Foundation is accepting donations for Caribbean islands impacted by Maria and Irma, incluidng Antigua and Barbuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Donations can be made at

Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund (bringing relief to Dominica)

Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Hurricane Relief Fund (to help families and countries rebuild after hurricanes)

Catholic Relief Services for international relief.

Global Giving Caribbean Hurricane Maria & Irma Relief Fund: This massive international crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits and donors is providing emergency supplies like food, water and medicine to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the broader Caribbean. All donations to this fund exclusively support hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean. You can donate here. The goal is $2 million goal for victims of Hurricane Maria

International Medical Corps


The Mexican Red Cross is accepting donations online at Donors should write “Sismo 19/09/17” as the reason for the donation and select Mexican pesos as the mode of payment.

The Mexican Red Cross’ wish list on Amazon can be found at this link:

Brigada Topos is accepting donations via PayPal using the email address

The American Jewish World Service is accepting donations for earthquake victims at

Oxfam:  will take donations for Mexico earthquake relief.

UNICEF is accepting donations for earthquake victims at and for victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria at

Catholic Relief Services works internationally and has a very good rating, and will take donations on line for the broader Caribbean and Mexico

How you can help Mexico and people affected by the Mexico earthquake