Puerto Rico disaster relief benefit to be held in Jersey City in February

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A coalition of Latino leaders in Hudson County say they are working to raise money for those in need in Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by a series of earthquakes.

Jersey City Puerto Rican Day Parade vice president Melissa Sarmiento says that “Puerto Rico will get up again.”

Sarmiento says that this saying is a source of inspiration for those in Puerto Rico trying to rebuild.

"They were hit with Maria and they got up, now they're hit with these earthquakes and they'll get up again,” Sarmiento says.

She says there is a large Hispanic population in Hudson County and many are working together to help those in Puerto Rico with a new fundraising effort called Operation Temblor PRJC. Councilman at Large Daniel Rivera says they are holding a fundraising event on Feb. 1.

RELATED: Vineland students organize fundraiser to help Puerto Rico earthquake victims 
RELATED: Displaced dogs from earthquake-stricken Puerto Rico heading to NJ 

“We hope to raise $200,000 … every single penny goes to Puerto Rico,” Rivera says.

The disaster relief benefit will be held at the Harborside Atrium in Jersey City. Sarmiento says once they raise the $200,000, they plan is to purchase products that those in Puerto Rico need, including generators, diapers and disinfectant products. Volunteers will fly to Puerto Rico to deliver the support.

"I want to be there and physically be able to give these people what they need,” Sarmiento says.

MORE: NJ leaders call on federal government for more aid for Puerto Rico as Trump signs disaster declaration 
MORE: Perth Amboy organizes relief efforts for Puerto Rico earthquake victims 

As thousands of people remain in shelters in Puerto Rico, Hudson County Latino Caucus Chairwoman Carmen Mendiola says that it is wonderful to see so many New Jerseyans coming together to support Puerto Rico.

"We just came together. Just a matter of a couple of days, texts and so on and so forth and everybody showed up,” she says.

The Feb. 1 fundraiser will be held at 230 Hudson Street in Jersey City from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. A $25 donation is required. There will be a cash bar, a raffle and prizes. For more information call Melisa at 551-208-1432 or Ruben at 201-273-4038. Checks should be made payable to Carevel Foundation.


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