She might be an award-winning actress, singer, dancer, fashion designer… but she will always “be Jenny from the block.” In a show of overwhelming support nuyorican artist Jennifer Lopez traveled to Puerto Rico, alongside New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, in order to pledge $1 million to help provide aid.
“Given the loss and devastation, we need everyone to pay attention and to urgently support Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Mexico City with donations and contributions,” Lopez said during the press conference. “We know we must address the immediate needs and means of survival for the people while being focused on the long-term rebuilding of the infrastructure of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Mexico City.”
According to Billboard, Lopez has pledged a whopping $1 million in funds, from the proceeds of her recent benefit concert in Las Vegas, to help the American controlled island and others in the Caribbean who were hit by Hurricane María and the Earthquake in Mexico.
In an effort to help the community repair its devastated power structure, and to assist in relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane María, New York State Gov. Cuomo also helped deliver more than 34,000 bottles of water, 9,600 ready to eat meals, 3,000 canned goods, 500 flashlights, 1,400 cots, 1,400 blankets, 1,400 pillows and 10 generators to the island country.
“The devastation of the island is really breathtaking,” Cuomo said during a press conference on Sunday. “There are parts of the island that have as much as seven to eight feet of water in homes. There are still parts of the island where we went through with Humvees that are maybe three or four feet deep and that water goes right into the homes. And again, this is no longer just rain water or sea water. This is water that has collected chemicals and debris and is unhealthy, to say the least. The entire power system on the island is down. The only systems that are operating are operating by generator. It’s remarkable that the current estimate of fatalities is about seven or eight, they don’t have a hard count yet, but when you see the destruction it’s remarkable that the number of fatalities is that low.”
Lopez, who is also co-chair of the Empire State Relief & Recovery Effort, told Billboard that apart from her own donation, she is working with Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees—who have already helped to pledge in a major way—as well as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Puerto Rican basketball player J.J. Barea, her ex-husband Marc Anthony, and more than 30 athletes and artists to provide aid to the Caribbean and Mexico.
“I cannot tell you what it meant to me and to the people of Puerto Rico to see New York not only pledge support but Governor Cuomo to actually show up with resources and supplies. It is now time for all Americans to be front and center in helping to bring awareness and solutions to the task of rebuilding Puerto Rico,” Lopez said.
In conjunction with the relief effort, the New York Mets are also asking fans attending games at Citi Field on Sept. 25, 26 and 27 to bring donations for the relief effort to the ball game between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Additionally, the Mets will collect supplies between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
“On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we would like to thank Governor Cuomo for coordinating this massive relief effort for the island of Puerto Rico,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a press release. “The Mets and our fans stand alongside all our friends and family in Puerto Rico during this difficult time.”
Lopez and Anthony are also encouraging people to send support to the United for Puerto Rico campaign, which was created by the First lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María.
To learn more about New York State’s Recovery and Relief Effort in Puerto Rico, visit ny.gov/puertorico.