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Recent disaster relief fundraising efforts find success on U. campus

Recent natural disasters in Texas, Mexico, and Puerto Rico have inspired a tremendous wave of campus activism. Various initiatives led either fully or in part by Princeton students have already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the wake of several earthquakes and hurricanes that have torn a path of destruction through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Recently, The Daily Princetonian reported on the Mexican Students Association’s campaign to raise funds for earthquake relief in Mexico, with funds being channeled to several Mexican NGOs. The country was recently struck by three earthquakes of magnitudes 6.1, 7.1, and 8.1 on the Richter scale, causing billions of dollars worth of damage.


A representative of PUMSA reports that the campaign has raised over $4,500 so far. Funds can be sent on Venmo to PU-Mexhelp with the title MEXDONATION.

Students across the nation have also come together to support Puerto Rico, which itself sustained billions of dollars in damage from recent hurricanes and tropical storms. Much of Puerto Rico still remains without power, and in some areas, this deficit is expected to last for months, according to a CNN article.

Yesterday, guest contributor Diego Negrón-Reichard wrote a column on behalf of Students for Puerto Rico, a trending GoFundMe campaign that has raised nearly $131,000 so far. The money will be directed to Unidos por Puerto Rico, an initiative started by First Lady Beatriz Isabel Roselló, according to the GoFundMe page.

One notable contributor to this campaign is talk-show host and comedian Jimmy Fallon, whose tonight show had already pledged $1 million to relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. Fallon donated $20,000, enough to move the group past its initial goal.

“Wanted to get you to your goal! I’m so inspired by what you guys are doing. Love and thoughts to Puerto Rico and everyone affected by Hurricane Maria. Jimmy,” Fallon wrote along with his donation.

Students for Puerto Rico’s campaign has quickly gained national attention, including interviews with FOX News and CNN, and has continued to raise its fundraising goal in the hopes of providing further aid. Contributions can be made through the following link: Campus representatives are listed on the GoFundMe page.


Another recent guest column by Markus Norkaitis ’20 explained the devastation on his home island of St. Thomas, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. This area was severely damaged by both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, and now faces challenges similar to Puerto Rico’s in the coming months.

Other campus groups have also started to get involved in relief efforts. The Community Service Interclub Council had originally intended to start a Hurricane Harvey fundraiser for victims of recent flooding in Texas. However, faced with a growing number of disasters, the Council repurposed this initiative to cover other relief efforts as well.

The group will be setting up tables at each of the eating clubs to discuss its endeavor, which consists mainly of selling “Tigers for Texas” stickers for a donation of $2 or more. The group emphasizes that the funds raised are not only for Texas, but will be distributed to various causes as the group sees fit. Donations can be made to TIGERSFORTEXAS on Venmo.

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