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30 Days of Giving

30 Days of Giving 2017 – Day 27: Rockland CC Community Comes Together to Aid Puerto Rico

Students and staff from Rockland Community College pose at an event gathering supplies for Puerto Rico relief.

More than two months have passed since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, and life on the island remains a struggle. While the story has largely faded from the public consciousness, a group at Rockland Community College is doggedly working to help bring relief to some of those impacted by the devastating storm.

“Many people are not all that aware of the situation in Puerto Rico today,” said Inez Rivera, RCC faculty counselor. “There are still parts of the island that have received very little aid. Some haven’t received anything.”

“I feel like Puerto Rico’s been taken back to the Dark Ages,” said Ronnie Rolls, an RCC Nursing student who has aunts, an uncle and many cousins who live on the island. “It’s terrible what they’re enduring.”

The RCC Puerto Rico Task Force, led by Rivera, is preparing to send a shipment of supplies to the island in mid-December to help those still in need. The group has been collecting non-perishable food and other supplies at drop-off points around the College campus. The plan is to send this shipment to people in the southern and western portions of Puerto Rico, far from the San Juan area where much of the aid effort has been centered.

Rolls, who speaks regularly with her relatives, says Puerto Ricans are grateful to know that grassroots aid efforts are continuing on the mainland. “They’re glad for anything they can get,” she said.

Beyond food, Rivera said current needs also include over-the-counter medications, flashlights, diapers and baby formula. The group is also collecting lightly worn children’s summer clothing, and with the holidays fast approaching, would welcome donations of gifts for children affected by the hurricane.

The task force has focused its efforts on campus, but some in the greater Rockland County community have also offered to help. A teacher at Pomona Middle School enlisted fourth graders to fill shoeboxes with needed supplies, resulting in some 50 boxes worth of donations. A rabbi in Nyack also arranged a collection of items for the RCC shipment.


30 Days of Giving 2017:

  1. Day 1: Shopping with a Smile
  2. Day 2: Erie Community College Cook-Off for Kidneys
  3. Day 3: Stony Brook Medicine Helps in Puerto Rico
  4. Day 4: A Day of Service at Onondaga CC
  5. Day 5: New Paltz Students Make a Difference
  6. Day 6: Buffalo State College Dares to Care
  7. Day 7: Niagara County CC Students Lend A Hand for Thanksgiving
  8. Day 8: Old Westbury Helps Haiti
  9. Day 9: A Day of Service at SUNY Potsdam
  10. Day 10: Helping Animals at Hudson Valley Community College
  11. Day 11: FIT Students Help the Homeless
  12. Day 12: Morrisville Athletes Go Local For Service
  13. Day 13: SUNY Poly Gives Back Throughout the Region
  14. Day 14: SUNY Oswego Honors Those Battling Ovarian Cancer
  15. Day 15: Brockport Students Volunteer at Thanksgiving
  16. Day 16: SUNY ESF Sends Acorns to Action
  17. Day 17: Doors Open at the Columbia-Greene Community College Giving Closet
  18. Day 18: Monroe Community College Helps Walk for Water
  19. Day 19: SUNY Cortland Supports Crop Hunger Walk
  20. Day 20: Making Music at Farmingdale State to Help the Hungry
  21. Day 21: Increasing Food Security at Dutchess Community College
  22. Day 22: Addressing Food Insecurity On and Around SUNY Geneseo
  23. Day 23: Westchester Community College Plays the UnHunger Games
  24. Day 24: Binghamton University Builds University Assisted Community Schools
  25. Day 25: Mohawk Valley Community College Gives Back To Their Community
  26. Day 26: SUNY Oneonta Students Help Area Children Learn
  27. Day 27: Rockland Community College Comes Together to Aid Puerto Rico
  28. Day 28: Empire State College Donates to Caribbean Relief
  29. Day 29: Schenectady County Community College Students Provide Support to Foster Families
  30. Day 30: Raising Guiding Eyes at SUNY Delhi
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Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

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  • David says:

    People are really doing amazing work for the welfare of society and situation. Hats off to the all volunteers who are part of this amazing welfare drive.

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