In September, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. It was the strongest storm the island had seen in 85 years.
Though it may have seemed like a faraway news story, its impacts are real and are touching Lebanon County in a major way. Because the Lebanon community already has a high population of Puerto Ricans, the area is seeing an influx of people coming from Puerto Rico in search of new starts. Hundreds of students have enrolled in Lebanon County schools in recent weeks, and service agencies around the county are being approached for assistance. These families and individuals have faced a life-changing crisis and are in need of your help and support.
Please give today to the Helping Hand fund
to support victims of Hurricane Maria resettling in Lebanon County.
This special collection is open to gifts now through January 31, 2018, and will support the needs of families and children resettling throughout Lebanon County. 100% of these funds will be distributed to support immediate tangible needs such as school supplies, coats, gloves, scarves, hats, assistance with food/nutrition, and other services.
After a successful community forum on December 5 to discuss this situation, United Way and the City of Lebanon are working together to facilitate continued conversation, seeking to centralize and streamline a process for individuals resettling here in the wake of this crisis.
Hope Roaten of the American Red Cross of Central Pennsylvania spent six weeks in Puerto Rico assisting with food distribution and disaster assessments. In the video below, she describes the magnitude of the crisis on the island, and the immense gratitude of the people she met.
Learn more about the impact on local schools and our area at the following links:
- FOX43: Lebanon County aiding influx of hurricane-displaced families, December 7, 2017
- Lebanon Daily News: Lebanon schools taking in hundreds of new students displaced by hurricane, December 6, 2017
Individuals and families who have recently relocated to the area from Puerto Rico are encouraged to reach out to the 2-1-1 human services hotline by dialing “2-1-1” from any phone. Bilingual support is available 24/7 and will assist families looking to connect with services in Lebanon County.