Following a devastating hurricane season, the electricity system in Puerto Rico was destroyed, leaving many families without power for months. These families have been left in the dark, or struggle to find other forms of light -- often dangerous or expensive. So LuminAID partnered with local Chicago organizations to get more safe light to those in need.
Through October and November, over $100,000 was raised through the Give Light Program and matching contributions of the Chicago4PR campaign. Thanks to the generosity of LuminAID supporters and Chicago organizations, more than 10,000 solar lanternswere pledged for disaster relief in Puerto Rico.
Through the Chicago4PR campaign, Chicagoans came together to raise solar lanterns for families without power in Puerto Rico.The campaign is a collaboration between LuminAID partnered with a collective of Chicago-based clean energy organizations and nonprofit partners. The collective includes Chicago’s Hanley Foundation, the Lumpkin Family Foundation, Invenergy, Invenergy Future Fund, and the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation. These groups pledged to match all funds raised through LuminAID’s Give Light program, up to $20,500.
Many families in Puerto Rico have experienced more than 100 days without power. In some areas, it’s unclear how long it will take before electricity is fully restored. LuminAID solar lanterns allow families to illuminate their homes after dark, without fire risks or high costs of fuel for generators. These portable lanterns allow children to study after school, let families to better take care of children and dependents, and increase safety and comfort.
A young boy in Puerto Rico studies for school with a LuminAID solar lantern after more than 100 days without electricity
Humanitarian partners for the Chicago4PR campaign include Convoy of Hope and ShelterBox. These humanitarian relief organizations have extensive aid networks and resources to reach urban communities as well as smaller harder to reach communities in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean.
The PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger has also been distributed to families in Puerto Rico. These high-powered LuminAID solar lanterns also feature an integrated phone charger. With solar phone charging, families are able to better keep in contact with loved ones, are better able to continue their work, and can more easily return to daily routines.
This campaign showed a groundswell of support fromthe local Chicago community, as well as supporters across the country and beyond. This project has been particularly close to our heart because of the large Puerto Rican community in Chicago, many of whom had relatives without light or ability to charge phones.
Through this campaign, LuminAID was able to supported fellow Americans get safe light, and brought together Chicago community efforts to support Puerto Rico. We’ve had an opportunity through this process to meet and get in touch with so many people in Puerto Rico who have been using our lights. This connection is so important to us, and we've heard incredible stories about how our lights are being used, and the positive impact that LuminAID lights can have for these families left in the dark after the storms.
Keep up-to-date on LuminAID and Mercy Corps' response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, and send a solar phone charger to a family in need.