Dear ICA friends,
From Puerto Rico, which has been my home since 1975, I thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and donations!
Our beautiful island received a glancing blow from Hurricane Irma on Sept.6th, and then, while still recovering, a full onslaught, across the entire island, only 1 mph shy of a category 5, from Maria on Sept. 20th. A dear friend here refuses to call the storm Maria, rather The Big Bad M, because she says Maria would never do this to Puerto Rico. But, whatever you call it, the island has been ravaged.
My husband and I have been safe in our concrete home, with hurricane panels and a generator. Millions of others, especially up in mountain communities, cut off by mudslides, are not so fortunate. Those in wooden houses in many cases lost everything. Authorities are struggling to restore power, water, and communications. (Virtually all of these systems were completely down on Sept. 21st, as we emerged from our refuges to see trees and power poles strewn everywhere like matchsticks.)
We shall overcome!!! It will take time, but my husband and I, remembering Hugo and Georges, know that the resilient Puerto Ricans who love their island will rebuild.
If you want to help, there are many sites accepting much needed donations for food, water and shelter. A local site has been set up by Puerto Rico’s first lady: UnidosporPuertoRico
There is a site a friend found called Americares, and there are the usual helping hands extended by the Red Cross, CNN, and others.
If you want to help my clarinet students specifically, we have a non-profit corporation set up in 2014 called Beca Don Jesus Figueroa, Inc. with a gofundme account https://www.gofundme.com/
qwa2t7w Accessable via our faceBook page Coro de Clarinetes del CMPR
We still have some bills to pay from the PR Conservatory Clarinet Choir’s trip to ClarinetFest in Orlando, so donations are welcomed! Once we pay those expenses, the money in the Beca (scholarship fund) will go to help the kids buy much needed instruments. My pledge for the next few weeks is to buy food for my most needy students during this time of crisis. I will spend 10% of what is donated in the next few weeks, (from my pocket,) to make sure my clarinet students have enough to eat.
Thank you all, once again, and God bless.
Always, Kathy Jones (www.kklarinet.com)