Puerto Rico: A Humanitarian Disaster

by Evelyn Alcala,  evelyn@ciudadweston.com

First on the left : Clark T Glenn Jr., Company: Pacific Bound Yachts among other volunteers and NGOs PR

Anthony Temperino and Volunteers while loading the plane with supplies for the Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico is declared in a state of crisis. With the passing of Hurricane Maria, the worst hurricane in history, floods and destruction have put many families, children and elderly at risk of hunger, disease and death. It is considered a humanitarian disaster.

Federal Government Moving Resources to Support Puerto Rico. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) top priority is continuing to provide life-saving resources to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, the tragedy of Puerto Ricans has moved Americans across the country. Especially to citizens and families residing in South Florida.

Anthony Temperino, is a Weston’s resident and he is the Director of Operations at the National Air Transport , NAT, for 21 years. He has been one of the many selfless Volunteers who felt the need to help people in Puerto Rico.

Temperino and his wife, Dr. Andrea Temperino Salas, had the vision to help bring  basic supplies to the island, from Ft Lauderdale, quickly and without high transportation costs. They need supplies to  load the planes that make charter flights and that fly empty to the island to pick up their customers. Together with Dr. Elizabeth King, CEO and Founder of the Lipstick Foundation, they undertook this noble mission.

Dr. King’s organization is  fully committed to fostering and promoting empowerment, leadership, community involvement and philanthropy.  She is very concerned about the  critical situation that many families in Puerto Rico are going through.  “Thank you for reaching us, as we need the media to get the word out. The communities in Puerto Rico are needing our help. Anthony is helping because they have the planes. Since Wednesday last week, we united our efforts. We are looking for donations to fill up the planes, while going to pick up passengers in Puerto Rico”, she said.

Dr. Elizabeth King, CEO/Founder of Lipstick Foundation

Caring people such as Clark Glenn, owner of one of NAT’s planes, have become part of this humanitarian mission, along with  Temperino, Dr. Andrea and Dr. King. They have so far sent 7 flights that have taken supplies to thousands of families affected by Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico.

“We do not just talk about San Juan, there are also other villages that were devastated by Hurricane. We have distributed supplies to help 140 families in Vieques, a small island in the east of Puerto Rico, that had not received any water or food yet. You have no idea what it took to get there, but we did it. I’m proud to say that we were the first non-military plane to get there.We were able to send a second plane since then, “said Temperino on his Facebook page.

The Lipstick Foundation, Broward YMCA, NAT staff , among other NGO’s and families from Broward County communities have joined forces and want to make a difference by donating supplies to bring the brothers and sisters of Puerto Rico who need help from us. They have been taking donations to the NAT Hangar in Ft Lauderdale to load the next plane that will depart to Puerto Rico.

Temperino recommends those people who want to donate water , please donate water purifiers or filters, instead.  This, will lighten somewhat the weight and space on the plane. “If we deliver water purifiers or filters, more people can be served with drinkable water” he said. Dr. King requests that donors can also make their donations in cash, in order to help for travel expenses for volunteers traveling to bring the supplies to Puerto Rico. “All donations will go 100% to Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico,” said Dr. King.

One of the volunteers, named Michael, paramedic, who is in Puerto Rico sent a text to Temperino , telling about his testimony on what happens in this Island destroyed by the hurricane. We quoted a fragment of his impressions:… “so that you can have an idea of ​​something terrible, imagine what it is to stay without drinkable water, electricity, gas, telephone, without work, car, food, or water to clean and flush the toillets. You’re on an island, scared, not knowing what’s going on. ”

“There are a lot of remote areas where they have not been able to get water. Children in orphanages who have not eaten for 4-5 days and do not have medical supplies.  Hospital reports of sick people, hungry and dying are worrisome,” said Dr. King.

Puerto Rico, Water and food was delivered to the Orphanage by Lipstick Foundation and Anthony Temperino

One of the affected centers has been the San Miguel Orphanage. The children have received drinkable water and food thanks to the help of volunteers like Dr. Temperino and Dr. King.

Thirteen days have passed since the hurricane in Puerto Rico, and there are still people without water or food. It seems that all the help that has been given is not enough, and we have to join all efforts to prevent sickness and death from increasing the number of lives lost.

To make your donations, or to request more information about the next flight, you can contact the NAT at the telephone number (561) 483-50-70 (Spanish or English) or make your contribution in cash through the Foundation’s website, http://lipstickfoundation.org/donate/

The delivery instructions you can see on the website of the foundation, and we have  copied textually: “They can bring canned food, grains, protein, can openers, water filters, snacks.” Medications for the stomach + diarrhea, baby formulas, diapers, toothbrushes, sanitary towels, mosquito repellent, first aid kit, etc. Please deposit your donations in a heavy duty labeled box at the Banyan Air Service, 5360 NW 20th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309, phone 954-491-3170.  Before 10pm is ideal because after it is a skeleton crew of 2 people. They are open 24 hours.Take photos of your package and senda text to Anthony Temperino at 954-818-2604.”

Or visit https://www.gofundme.com/avert-disaster-relief. This is an American Volunteer Emergency Response Team, is a group of highly motivated and trained patriotic Americans delivering much-needed supplies and assistance to hard-hit disaster areas. They need your help and support to make sure they can reach those in need and offer support to those who put themselves in harm’s way to save others.


Share this post

Comments are closed.