Disaster relief to Puerto Rico

UD SABIC Foundation Year students organize a supply drive to bring relief to communities that they helped to build in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Disaster ReliefThree weeks ago, Puerto Rico was hit by a devastating hurricane. Since that time, many Puerto Rican communities have been struggling without electricity, clean water and other basic necessities. Millions of people have been watching in disbelief as the heartbreaking news about Puerto Rico has been shared by media outlets, and many have generously donated money to relief efforts.

However, for a special group of students at the University of Delaware, the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico has hit “too close to home.”

In 2016, students enrolled in the Foundation Year program at the University of Delaware English Language Institute (ELI) (sponsored by SABIC Americas, Inc.) traveled to Puerto Rico on a service learning trip. They spent one week learning about Puerto Rican culture and history while helping to build homes in the low-income community of Villa Del Rio. | See the students’ documentary film about their trip

This trip was a transformative experience for the SABIC students. It proved to be so popular that new cohorts of the Foundation Year program went to Puerto Rico earlier this year, and we expect to repeat the trip for a new cohort in 2018.

Not only does Puerto Rico now hold a special place in their hearts, but these students also gained an understanding of the importance of helping those in need.

Now, over a year since starting the trips to Puerto Rico, UD’s SABIC students have seen the terrible news about the impact that Hurricane Maria has had on the island — and they are ready to take action.

The students have partnered with several agencies from the State of Delaware (see below) to organize a drive to collect supplies for Puerto Rico. They are inviting all members of the UD and ELI community to donate items that are desperately needed in the relief effort. 

Time is of the essence. Therefore, we are asking for all supplies to be donated by October 18.

If you are interested in participated, please see the lists below in order to ensure that your donation will be accepted.

Items needed

  • First aid supplies
  • Stomach and diarrhea medications
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Insect repellent
  • Toiletries and feminine-hygiene products
  • Dish soap and laundry detergents
  • Garbage bags
  • Work gloves, tarps, ropes, safety glasses and goggles
  • Pet food

Items not accepted

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Toys or stuffed animals
  • Bottled water
  • Food

Where/when to donate

You can take your donation to the ELI at 108 East Main Street (2nd floor). 
All donations are due by October 18.


Contact MariaJose Riera, Program Coordinator, SABIC Foundation Year at mjriera@udel.edu.

Special thanks

This activity is being made possible through collaboration by the following State of Delaware agencies for their assistance with this initiative:

About the SABIC Foundation Year trip to Puerto Rico

Photo gallery of 2016 SABIC Foundation Year trip to Puerto Rico

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