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GRPS and City Of Grand Rapids United For Puerto Rico

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The humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Maria continues to devastate those living in Puerto Rico.  Starting today, Grand Rapids Public Schools and the City of Grand Rapids are taking part in a charitable drive to benefit those in need.

“We have heard from our students… We are a family here and we come together when our family is in need.”

And that “need” is what has prompted Grand Rapids Public Schools and the City of Grand Rapids to join forces with a national Humanitarian aid group.  GRPS Executive Director of Communications, John Helmholdt says they’re working with Puerto Rico Rises, which has a local office in Ann Arbor.

“Puerto Rico Rises is a national organization, actually based out of Florida, but they have chapters popping up all over the country and they’ve made October 21st a national drive.  And they have published list of supplies and items needed to support those families in Puerto Rico and the surrounding island.”

Helmholdt says Puerto Rick Rises has a specific list of items needed and everything donated, 100 percent, will be given to those in need.

“Things from diapers, to iodine to medicine. All the things that are on that list we are asking everyone to the broader community, bring the list with you, we really want it to be specific to the things they are asking for support with.”

Helmholdt says the community has a week to help out. They’re accepting donations starting today up  until Thursday.  GRPS Students, parents and staff donations are accepted at all GRPS schools. Public donations can be made at the GRPS Franklin Campus at 1331 Franklin SE.  Again, the drive runs until Thursday, October 19th.  Helmholdt says they will then ship the supplies.  You can find a complete listing of the items needed, at GRPS. ORG.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.