BAYAMON, PUERTO RICO - When the call went out for help, Western New York's Hispanic community answered the bell. They collected food, toiletries, water and cash for the people of Puerto Rico. The island had just been ravaged by Hurricane Maria.
$179,000 that was raised here in WNY, was sent there to assist in a variety of relief projects. Two facilities that were on the receiving end of WNY generosity were Hogar Fatima and Hogar Forjadores de Esperanza. They are both orphanages in the town of Bayamon, which is about 45 minutes south of San Juan.
Fatima houses girls, ages 11 to 17. Esperanza is a home for boys from 5 to 20 years old. Both suffered major damage, that has been (and continues to be) repaired and rebuilt with the help of dollars collected in Buffalo. A Hurricane Maria Relief Fund oversight committee reviewed organizations in need and approved the spending and distribution to a variety of entities. Esperanza received $5,600, Fatima got $3,525.