RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s first lady is spearheading an effort to provide relief to those in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria.
On Friday, Dorothy McAuliffe will host a special benefit for the first lady of Puerto Rico. They’re hoping to raise thousands of dollars to help the millions of people devastated by Hurricane Maria.
“The images we see on TV of the devastation on the island, it’s just heart-wrenching,” the first lady said.
McAuliffe said she didn’t think twice about lending her support to people suffering in Puerto Rico.
“We want to be able to do whatever we can where ever we see people in such dire and terrible need,” she said. “That’s just human nature, and it’s who we are as Americans and it’s who we are as Virginians.”
While the event will be a fun way to bring the community together, McAuliffe hopes people will open their hearts and their checkbooks. They’re looking for donations to the first lady of Puerto Rico’s foundation, Unidos Por Puerto Rico.
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“We want people to know that Puerto Rico needs help,” Mcauliffe explained. “Puerto Rico needs charitable giving and they should be donating.”
Maritza Mercado Pechin, who grew up in Puerto Rico and has family there — some she hasn’t heard from since the storm ripped through the island — said the fundraiser has her heart.
“It’s just awful,” Pechin said. “You’re like reading your friends write things and looking at articles and you’re just like, ‘I can’t do anything.'”
But instead of feeling helpless about what’s happening to her homeland, Pechin is putting all of her energy into organizing Friday’s fundraiser.
“So that I can feel like I’m doing something, because when you can’t even talk to people, when the distribution system is broken, how can you help?” she said.