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News & Press: Illinois Section AWWA News

Opportunity to help Puerto Rico

Wednesday, November 22, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Donahue
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With Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas not too far off, in the spirit of giving, I would like to make a plea on behalf of some friends, colleagues and fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.


Just over two months ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico devastating most of the Island. Today, much of the island is still without power and more than 1 million Americans are without safe water to drink.


I was in Denver recently where my friend and Puerto Rican, Warner Palermo shared his heart breaking story of Maria, describing how the devastation has and still is affecting his friends and family.


His story touched me to the point where I wanted to take some action. So when I returned home, I reached out to Warner and others in Puerto Rico to see what we could do. I was told there is a group of Puerto Rican volunteers who are trying to make a difference by traveling to rural towns and villages in an effort to repair water & wastewater systems. Although, their goals are daunting, they are confident they can be successful.


What they lack is resources and that’s where you come in. I have developed a website: where you can learn more about their story and donate needed supplies. These supplies will go DIRECTLY to the volunteers making a difference and will circumvent the bureaucracy that often gets in the way of progress.  


Please visit the site: and if you’re so inclined provide whatever assistance you can afford. This is being done in conjunction with the American Water Works Association who is managing tax deductible cash contributions and the AWWA Washington DC office who is attempting to leverage national resources from Federal agencies and manufacturers.


Please consider helping these Americans who are now forced to live in what can best be described as third world conditions.

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