March 28, 2020

Hitting Close  to Home

posted on: Thursday September 28, 2017

Interviews by Sabrina Guilbeault ’18

News Editor

Sophie Bartlett ’18

Why do you think it is important that Providence College knows what is happening with the Caribbean Islands? 

I think it is important because a lot of people kind of forget we exist, or think we are too small to really matter. The news is only really beginning to cover what happened, but there are millions of U.S. citizens who are struggling as a result of the hurricanes and don’t have the resources accessible to do anything about it. I think the PC community should know what is going on so we can begin the conversations on how to help other people who are in need of help as we are all fortunate enough to be safe and stable in our homes right now.

Was your family affected by the hurricane?

Luckily my family was not home at the time the hurricane hit and our house is overall still doing well, but most of my friends have extensive damage to their homes or have completely lost them. At first people really had no idea how to react or what to do, but the sense of community that the Virgin Islands has completely shone through during this time. People have really been helping each other out, every day going to clean up a little bit of the road or those who had boats that survived have been doing runs to other islands to collect needed goods, which has been such a beautiful thing to see.

I am very appreciative of anything anyone can do to help to restore the Caribbean to how it once was. It is a beautiful place filled with the kindest people and I would love to see the Caribbean become great again through the generosity of the people in the U.S.

Maria Santos ’20

Why do you think it is important that Providence College knows what is happening with Puerto Rico? 

I think it is important that Providence College knows what’s happening in Puerto Rico because like any other humanitarian crisis, it deserves attention from everyone. Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens, they are our people, and when our people need our help, we help in any way we can. When I say we, I mean the PC community. I believe PC has the power and the responsibilty to make a difference in the lives of many Puerto Ricans who have been affected by Hurricane Maria.

Was your family affected by the hurricane?

Thankfully, my family is all right. There is no electricty in my house, no water service, and barely any phone signal, which has made communication with my parents and siblings almost impossible. Nothing is happening in the island, so my parents are not working, and therefore not generating any income at the moment. My twin sister’s education is on hold too. But what’s most important to me is that they are safe. And I believe that soon enough things will start falling into place.

Can you describe what it is you are doing to support Puerto Rico? How can others help?

Being here and not back home with the people we love, made us (Puerto Rican PC students) feel powerless and hopeless. But we decided that we were going to turn our sadness into positive action. Therefore, we created a GoFundMe page called “Friars with Puerto Rico” with the goal of raising $5,000 and donating it to the organization “Unidos Por Puerto Rico”, which is the government’s hurricane relief fund for the Island. Other than the GoFundMe page, we are having a benefit concert on Smith Quad. Everything we collect during the concert will go to the organization as well.

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