What You Can Do Right Now to Help Puerto Rico

Destruction in the Wake of Hurricane Maria / Photo Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Public Domain

The island of Puerto Rico is home to 3.4 million people, and they are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Many of us want to help, but don’t know where to start. So, here are five things you can do, right now, to help Puerto Rico:

Five Things Christians Can Do Right Now to Help Puerto Rico

  1. Pray. Pray for God to intercede in the lives and actions of those who can help or hurt relief efforts. Ask God to clear the way for relief supplies and services to get from port to inland areas. And pray for clean water, food, and electricity be delivered to those in need, right now. Pray so that the resolve and hope of those affected stay strong.
  2. Give to a national organization mobilizing to provide direct relief, such as World Relief, Catholic Charities USA, One America Appeal, The Salvation Army, National Latino Evangelical Coalition, World Vision, or go to your church denomination’s website.
  3. Call your member of Congress and ask them to push hard for solutions to get desperately needed aid from ports to people in need. While you’re on the phone, ask them to make sure the Jones Act is permanently lifted for Puerto Rico.
  4. Consume less. Commit to live more simply. “Higher water and air temperatures, as well as rising sea levels, increase the intensity and destructive power of hurricanes, a trend that will continue as the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases,” reports Bloomberg. Most of all, we must commit to listen to the voices of the most vulnerable. At the United Nations, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit pleaded, “To deny climate change is to procrastinate while the earth sinks; it is to deny a truth we have just lived…My fellow-leaders, there is no more time for conversation. There is little time left for action. While the big countries talk, the small island nations suffer. We need action and we need it now.”
  5. Choose a locally-driven crowdfunding campaign and donate in support. These crowdfunding campaigns help organizations like Casa-Taller, which has been a space for artists, organizers, and community members to gather, collaborate and build cultural projects, grow their own food, and educate themselves and their community.
May all God’s children be moved by mercy towards generosity and responsible stewardship of God’s precious creation.
Sarah Withrow King is Deputy Director of CSA and co-director of CreatureKind. Rev. Carlos Malavé is Executive Director of Christian Churches Together

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Israel, Palestine, and the Wilderness of Weeping

By Micky ScottBey Jones

As we exited Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, the sun was setting and the valley was covered in pink and orange light. It was so crowded that I quickly snapped a photo and stepped back, feeling uneasy about the question posed to us by our guide: “What will you do to make sure this never happens again?”

As I traveled throughout Israel and Palestine, I kept thinking about Rachel weeping in the wilderness, which we hear about both from sacred texts and from several traditions.

You Did for Me

Reading from Matthew 25

For I was hungry
and you gave me food
I was thirsty
and you gave me drink
I was a stranger
and you welcomed me
I was naked
and you gave me clothing
I was sick
and you looked after me
I was in prison
and you came to me…
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.