Salem Stands with Puerto Rico Fundraiser

Salem Stands with Puerto Rico
Event Date: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 5:00pm to 9:00pm


Flatbread Company
311 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970
United States

Contact: Graysen M. Ocasio/Nicole Lashomb
Salem Stands with Puerto Rico, Marketing & Media Directors
Phone: 857-250-7790 | Email:

Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis: Salem Continues to Help American Citizens in Puerto Rico

Continuous fundraisers to help those in remote areas 

SALEM, Mass.—Hundreds of thousands are still without power, water or basic necessities in Puerto Rico. Many are still hungry and dying, according to a new report published (Nov. 8) in the daily local paper. Puerto Ricans are in dire need of assistance—assistance that the federal government is doing little to ameliorate. The humanitarian crisis and the American reality on the island continues to become more grave as the death total surges and supplies become even more scarce. Salemites continue to pay attention to the crisis by offering help to those who need it most—in the most remote parts of the island. 

On November 14 from 5-9 p.m., Salem Stands with Puerto Rico’s (SSWPR) fundraising efforts kick off at Flatbread Company. This launch marks the beginning of an ongoing grassroots relief effort to provide more supplies and monies directly to the Americans on the island suffering from the destruction of Hurricane Irma and Maria while living in devastating conditions. The public is highly encouraged to attend the event. Flatbread will be donating more than 10 percent of all pizza purchases throughout the night for dine-in, take-out and curbside service.

“I came here because I lost my job, my husband lost his and my son’s education and all of the mortgage and other payments continue to be due,” said Patricia Martinez Ocasio, an Arecibo former resident who recently relocated to Salem and who will be at the event to share updates on the state of the island. “I came here to desperately find a job and send monies to PR, to ensure that my bills and responsibilities with my family are met. My husband cannot work in the U.S. because he doesn’t speak English well. Finding a job for him has been very difficult.”

More than 1,800 Salem residents are Puerto Rican, many of whom have family still trying to survive on the island. This crisis not only affects those in Puerto Rico, but also hits the community, families, and friends directly. The support and relief is needed now and for the foreseeable future. The goal of SSWPR is to coordinate ongoing relief efforts and build community while reaching out to support the fellow American citizens.

“Our efforts are particularly focused on people living in small towns and rural communities,” said Scot Sternberg, Sponsorship Director, SSWPR. “100% of the proceeds will go to helping the victims affected by these natural disasters in Puerto Rico.”

The event will also feature music by local bands. In addition to proceeds and personal donations, a raffle will take place with items from local businesses and artists, to help raise more funds. SSWPR is continuously organizing benefits along with businesses in order to continue to provide support to the island.

“We are currently finalizing plans for two other restaurant benefits,” said Sternberg. “We hope you will consider considering joining our effort. We’d like to ask if you would be willing to hold a benefit for one evening at your establishment and donate a portion of proceeds from that evening to SSWPR. We would help market and mobilize members of the community to come eat to those establishments at those times and acknowledge you for partnering with this community effort.”

Salem Stands with Puerto Rico held an initial drive was held Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Immaculate Church in Salem—members across the community brought food, water, household items, supplies and clothing and initial cash donations of several thousand dollars. An initial full truckload was picked up that next week and then sent over to Puerto Rico with donations from several other communities. Cash donations were used to purchase post office checks to send out to people in need in towns of family members of Salem residents in Puerto Rico.

For more information or to send us a request to become a community partner, e-mail:, or visit the group’s FB page at:

Salem Stands with Puerto Rico is a grassroots community–based effort to support the relief and recovery needs in Puerto Rico as a result of devastation by Hurricane Irma and Maria and the humanitarian disaster affecting 3.4 million US citizens.