Natural disasters, terror, violence, and hatred shatter millions of lives each year. Since 2005, UJA has invested $81 million to bring urgent relief to those on the ground and aid long term recovery. Our essential relationships with hundreds of nonprofits worldwide make us agile and ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.
Responding to the 2017 Natural Disasters
29 flights and a cargo ship. 100,000 pounds of humanitarian and medical supplies. More than $5 million in hurricane relief for Houston, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria have taken a terrible toll on the people of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. In Mexico, the recent earthquakes have caused unfathomable hardship and loss. And Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction in Texas, while Florida copes with the aftermath of Irma.
Although there are massive needs and it will be a long road to recovery, we can be proud that our support has already provided life-saving supplies, cash assistance, critical relocation, rebuilding assistance, trauma support, and more.
To date, we've distributed $1.4 million in disaster relief funds and delivered goods worth more than $4 million.
Your support makes all the difference. Donate now to our Disaster Relief Fund.
Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
Since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, UJA has proudly partnered with the Afya Foundation and the Greater New York Hospital Association to dispatch 29 flights and a cargo ship to Puerto Rico and St. Thomas to deliver desperately needed supplies. These include 14 flights directly arranged by UJA. All flights have been made possible thanks to the generosity of longtime donors.
Working closely with the Jewish communities in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, we've been able to direct resources where they are needed most. We've delivered humanitarian aid directly to the poorest areas outside of San Juan and prescription medications and other important medical supplies to hospitals, medical clinics, and nursing homes throughout the island. To help St. Thomas, whose only hospital suffered significant damage, we delivered prescription medications and medical supplies to the Schneider Regional Medical Center and humanitarian aid to poor communities throughout the island.
Supplies have included:
- Medications (including prescriptions to help contain a conjunctivitis outbreak, tetanus shots, vials of insulin, and flu vaccines)
- Water and water-filtration tablets and bottles
- Non-perishable food
- Toiletries, insect repellant, and sunscreen
- Diapers (baby and adult) and baby formula
- Over-the-counter medicine and first aid kits
- Batteries, flashlights, and solar chargers
- Cleaning supplies and work gloves
Read an update from our CEO, Eric S. Goldstein.
Our support, together with funding from national federations, has also provided:
- Lifesaving supplies, including 200 generators, to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
- On-the-ground aid through IsraAID, which sent staff to Puerto Rico for an estimated two months. Their immediate task is to assess needs
- Cash assistance to St. Thomas, St. John, and Puerto Rico
Houston and the Surrounding Areas
- We provided emergency support for Houston, Beaumont, Galveston, and Port Arthur within days of Hurricane Harvey hitting.
- We sent senior staff to help assess damage and share expertise gained from our experience with Hurricane Sandy. You can read their stories here, here, and here.
- We arranged for 16 members of the New York Jewish community to travel to Houston on a volunteer mission, where they saw firsthand how the storm had devastated the JCC and two large synagogues and also helped with mucking and gutting the home of a low-income family in Northern Houston.
- Our support is being used for:
- Cash assistance
- Scholarships for families of early-childhood students
- Vans for senior transport
- Meal-prep equipment for Meals on Wheels program
- Relocation costs for day school and early childhood center
- Relocation costs for congregation for High Holiday services
- Trauma relief through the Israel Trauma Coalition
- Through our partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, we are supporting recovery efforts in the wake of the earthquakes.
- As part of the national federation system, we’re providing emergency cash assistance to individuals and families with damaged or destroyed property.
Our work is far from over, and we will continue to partner with nonprofits on the ground, with government, and with the larger faith-based community to get people the help they so desperately need.