“There is already a lot of poverty and suffering in Puerto Rico, it’s already quite bad there, this certainly doesn’t help it,” Lucas Fischel, Puerto Rican resident, said. Also adding, “Homes there without strong foundations can be destroyed by fierce winds from hurricanes, creating an immense homeless situation.”
Although there may not be enough national and international attention for this small, desperate island, there are some special philanthropists who are taking a stand to aid in Hurricane Fiona relief efforts across the island. Recently, the Bravo Family Foundation made an announcement to commit $10MM from co-founder and private equity investor Orlando Bravo to ensure that relief efforts target the most vulnerable areas of the island so that they can get back on their feet.
Six communities are at the forefront for this first wave of aid: Mayagüez, Salinas, San Germán, Cayey, Loíza, and Cabo Rojo. These cities will benefit from the kindness of the Bravo Family Foundation, and the foundation will also reach out to other areas affected by the storm. The end goal for the foundation is to support more than 3,000 families acrossPuerto Rico, especially any adults over age 65 and any families with young children.
This is not the first time the Bravo Family Foundation has stepped up to help. In 2017, after Hurricane Maria decimated the island, Thoma Bravo private equity firm offered $10MM for the immediate needs of those Puerto Ricans who were uprooted by the hurricane. They also followed that with a pledge in 2019 of $100MM as a commitment to support the efforts of entrepreneurship as well as economic development. The group wanted to target young entrepreneurs and community leaders by training them in business, technology, and economics.
“In these instances where my hometown is once again experiencing a natural disaster, the least I can do is support the relief efforts,” said Bravo, who was born in Mayagüez. “This donation seeks to alleviate some of the pain for Puerto Ricans who were only just starting to recover from previous hurricanes, earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic.” He continued, “[A]t this moment, we need to get back to basics and help those most affected by this hurricane return to normalcy as soon as possible.”
For those devastated by the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, every little bit of aid will help. And it certainly takes some special people to give large sums of money to those they don’t even know. But for people like Bravo, who grew up in Mayagüez, giving back is very important to who he is, and he will continue to share with those in need.