Dear Friends of Puerto Rico & Other Latin-American Countries affected by recent natural disasters:

Many people are asking us, what is CENTRO doing? Meanwhile, numerous organizations and individuals are desperately trying to figure out how they can help. Unfortunately, that sense of desperation and desire to help will in many cases be more harmful to the recovery efforts of an area hit by natural disaster, than helpful. It is for this reason that CENTRO is taking a cautious and long-term approach to the work it will do in Puerto Rico, as well as the work it will do on behalf of Dominican Republic, the Caribbean islands and Mexico.

In the short-term, consistent with our mission, CENTRO will focus on working collaboratively with Friendly House, the Worcester Housing Authority, MEMA and other local, regional and state providers to prepare for the influx of Puerto Rican families expected to arrive in MA in the weeks and months to come. If you know or have been approached by someone who has come or plans to come to Worcester County, either for the short-term or to stay, please have them reach us here at CENTRO. They can call: 508-798-1900 x 260 and ask for Victor. We will then conduct an intake and assessment of needs, and develop a care plan for the person/family. Based on this care plan we will either serve the family and/or refer them to the appropriate provider for assistance. In addition, working in partnership with Casa Cultural Dominican, Compare Foods and other Dominican entrepreneurs, CENTRO will develop a relief strategy for the most affected communities in the Dominican Republic. Similarly, we are currently supporting efforts of the Caribbean American Festival of Worcester Committee, as they take the lead on relief efforts for the islands. Finally, when we identify the ideal vehicle, and contingent on availability of resources, we will develop an appropriate response to help the re-building efforts in Xiapas Mexico. While our focus as a local human services provider will be to effectively serve the families who will come to Central MA as a result of these natural disasters; our long-term work in the affected areas, as well as Puerto Rico will focus on sustainable economic and community development.

We all know the terrible reality these families are and will be living. We need to be wise in our use of resources to help in the best way possible. There are however, a number of groups in the area that have already been collecting funds, foods and other articles donated, as well as identifying volunteers, to send to Puerto Rico. Below, please find the contact names for those initiatives:

Groups Collecting Money, Goods & Volunteers to send to PR

  • Amor Para Puerto Rico
    Sarai Rivera, 508-963-3822; 508-799-1122

 

 

 

  • Boston Foundation C/o Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund
     Keith Mahoney; 617-338-3890; keith.mahoney@tbf.org

To Assist with Relief Efforts in Hampden County
    State Representative Jose Tosado; jftosado@gmail.com