Editorial: What you’re doing for Puerto Rico counts

The National Guard aids with cleanup in Puerto Rico on Sept. 30, 2017. -Photo from Creative Commons

It’s a bake sale by a sorority, or a fundraiser by several individuals. It’s checking in with your friends who have family in Puerto Rico. It’s discussing the impact Hurricane Maria has had on your morale and the world’s. It’s relating it to your history class lesson or implementing it into your journalism class.

These are just a few things Rowan students have been doing since the news of Hurricane Maria’s effect on Puerto Rico, a major United States territory.

Hurricane Maria killed dozens, and thousands more are still without power. Many major news outlets reported the damage in Puerto Rico undid decades worth of economic progress. Others are reporting there is no way to tell when their power will come back.

Analysts have reported this will hurt the territory’s economic growth for years to come. Check out this piece for an analytical approach to the damage. But how does this affect us?

Well, for freshman Brianna Rivera, two family members who live in Puerto Rico are now homeless.  She has no way of knowing how her hometown is faring and her grandmother had to drive to a police station to phone home to the continental United States because of a lack in phone services.

Rivera has partnered with Tyler Kubicz and Conor Holtz to fundraise for the Puerto Rican Family Institute.

Our own columnist Chris Yobb recently wrote about his family member who is safe in Puerto Rico, and noted the university will soon be helping to aid in fundraising.

Theirs are not the only stories. There are likely dozens of other students on campus with families who’ve been affected by the hurricane.

So while for some of us, the gravity of the tragedy might be hard to imagine, for others on our campus it’s very, very real.

So what can we do? Where does this leave us? Well, continuing with the bake sales is one step. It might seem small or insignificant, but any donation counts and is appreciated and welcomed. Your $14 donation toward buying a t-shirt might mean gasoline for a family who needs to get to the store. And, Rowan community, we’re doing a pretty good job right now. Let’s keep it up.

If you or someone you know has been affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, reach out to us at editor@thewhitonline.com or write us a Letter to the Editor telling your story.

For questions/comments about this story, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @thewhitonline.