Mayor Walsh, Boston Foundation launch fund to assist Puerto Rico

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Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the Boston Foundation today announced the creation of the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund.
 
Hosted in partnership with the Latino Legacy Fund and civic leaders of Boston’s Puerto Rican community, Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico will be dedicated to the relief and reconstruction of Puerto Rico and to support any Puerto Ricans arriving in Boston and the Commonwealth as a result of the destruction from Hurricane Maria.
 
Initial gifts will be used as challenge grants to the community for a wide-ranging fundraising appeal. Up to one third of funds raised will be immediately distributed for relief efforts, and the remainder of the fund will be distributed over the next year, through 2018, for reconstruction and economic recovery projects in Puerto Rico and to support resettlement efforts in Boston and the Commonwealth.
 
“We have been in close communication with officials from Puerto Rico,” Mayor Walsh said, “and, with such a strong Puerto Rican community here in Boston, they know we are here to help, for as long as they need.”
 
Paul Grogan, president and CEO of the Boston Foundation, noted that, “The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico is so severe that it will be months if not years before the island fully recovers.”
 
Gov. Charlie Baker said, “We stand ready to extend heartfelt welcomes to disaster survivors who seek temporary or permanent residence in Massachusetts and will provide any and all personnel and equipment requested throughout the recovery process. … Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and I encourage all in Massachusetts to join us in supporting Gov. [Ricardo] Rosselló and our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico throughout this incredibly challenging time.”
 
Vanessa Calderón-Rosado will chair the Advisory Committee overseeing the fund, with Mayor Walsh and Gov. Baker serving as honorary co-chairs, and House Ways and Means Chair Jeffrey Sánchez serving as honorary vice chair. The Advisory Committee will include Aixa Beauchamp and Juan Carlos Morales from the Latino Legacy Fund and experts from the Massachusetts Puerto Rican community.
 
Donors already committed to supporting the fund include the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, Thomas Melendez and Aixa Beauchamp, MFS Investment Management, Eos Foundation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham Health, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Partners Healthcare, Steward Healthcare System LLC, the Latino Legacy Fund, and the Boston Foundation. Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico will focus on gathering philanthropic support from corporations, foundations and individual donors in order to deploy resources to Puerto Rico quickly and effectively.
 
Massachusetts has the fifth largest population of Puerto Ricans in the continental United States. In Boston, 32,226 residents identify as Puerto Rican, and 25.1 percent of Boston’s Latino population identify as Puerto Rican.
 
Donate to the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico fund