I usually talk about crafting on this blog, but I thought it would be a good idea to talk about why I choose to donate 30% of my Etsy shop’s proceeds to charity — and why I’ve chosen the charity I’m currently donating to. (It’s the Hispanic Federation and specifically their Hurricane Maria disaster relief efforts.)
Many of you will remember Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, all of which hit in 2017. There was a huge push for recovery in the continental United States, but the damage from Maria, in September of 2017, was worst in Puerto Rico — which is part of the United States, albeit not a state.
Now, nine months on, the recovery efforts are hobbled and struggling, federal funds aren’t being disbursed in a timely fashion, the estimated death toll of 4,600+ is more than double that of Hurricane Katrina, and Puerto Rico is still getting far less press attention and funding.
So here’s some reading, in case you’re interested in what’s going on.
The Guardian’s account of Hurricane Maria’s death toll and another article that details the fact that Puerto Rico is suing to get a more accurate death count — because the federal government is still insisting that only 64 people died, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
Even FEMA’s own records tell a different story than what is being pushed by the federal government. NPR says that FEMA is blaming the storm, rather than it’s own lack of preparedness, despite an appalling lack of pre-storm prep.
I chose the Hispanic Federation as my charitable recipient this year because of its strong record in working closely with communities on the ground, its good charity navigator score, and the fact that it has a history of working in Puerto Rico, which means infrastructure already in place.
As always, I’m in graduate school, and I’m not stipended anymore. I literally can’t donate on my own, but I can turn my skill into money to donate, if you all help me out by shopping with me. I know there are a lot of options out there for stitch markers and project bags: more every day, it seems like, and a lot of really awesome makers to be discovered.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve done my first donations of the year through Network for Good — Google is matching donations to the Hispanic Federation right now at a 1-for-1 match.
That $500 that you all helped me donate so far this year will be matched, and will be $1000 donated in total, because Google is matching up to $2 million, and as of the time of this post they’re not there yet.
And as always, thank you all for helping me put my money where my mouth is.