“To me it was unacceptable that anyone would be suffering from hunger on US soil,” Erika Vélez recalls. “I said, ‘I’m going to help: Who’s coming with me?’” In October 2017, after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Erika set off for one of the hardest hit towns with enough donated supplies for 50 families. And so, Puerto Rico Lit was born.
Earthquakes followed, then Covid. Through it all Erika has been our eyes and ears on the ground, finding and verifying needs and coordinating continuing relief efforts. Appliances and building supplies for those whose homes are still in disrepair, clothing and food for families in need or laptops for students learning virtually, no need is too small or beyond her reach. Four years in, the work of PR Lit and Erika’s volunteers remains essential. Our funds are used for essential items distributed to those in need.