The NASW Puerto Rico Chapter sent a message about the immediate need for basic supplies and and update about the dire situation after hurricane Maria. Please read the message below:
Thank you for your support. Our main concern is there are no communications. There are no cellular phones that work well. All the island is without power — there is no water and little produce.
President Trump came today and just said we are costing too much money for the United States government. The suicide rate is too high triggered by the suffering from lack of basic needs. During this period about 12 persons committed suicide (and there are likely more that are not confirmed).
We are citizens of the United States of America, we defend the principles of democracy, we fought in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Our people went to Vietnam without any preparation. Most of those who were drafted were only 17 years old and had no understanding of the English language. We fight very bravely with no support. Even the Congress recognized the 65th Infantry Regiment as an important part of (American) history. The man who planned to rescue the Americans who were hostages in Iran by the Carter administration, he was a Puerto Rican.
Actually, we need support from the federal government, not just 4,000 soldiers around the island. We need to repair the electricity. We need water and food. There are people in the shelters without hope. Simply, there is no place to go.
Mr. Nichols let the social workers know about our situation. Let the newspapers describe all the justice we need. I trust our nation and I strongly believe that a call to the Congress will help make the effort to help not a political issue, but a social justice issue. As I explained, the communications (are very bad). Thank you very much.
For more information on how to support Puerto Rico rebuild after the hurricane, members should feel free to email Greg Wright, NASW Public Relations Manager, Gwright.firstname.lastname@example.org