Hurricane relief where Trump failed

Twenty-five tons of toys will arrive in Puerto Rico for Christmas, thanks to the efforts of a grassroots Hurricane Maria relief effort.

Residents in Puerto Rico are still in need of life-saving basics after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, but one organization is adding holiday gifts to the list of supplies being sent to the island. “Children and teens and young adults who’ve lost everything, we do not want them to lose Christmas and the holidays either,” said Chris Sloan, the founder of Operation Puerto Rico Gift-Lift, in an interview for “Salon Now.”

In the weeks after Maria struck in late September, Sloan partnered with Spirit Airlines to send 200,000 pounds of material to the island in what they called, “Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift.” The first round of donations raised $225,000, and Sloan says the response to the holiday drive has been overwhelming, with 50,000 pounds of toys coming in from individuals and companies.

“Donald Trump has been one of our best assets because every time Donald Trump says something offensive and wrong and throws paper towels at people like it’s some kind of basketball game, it drives our donations up,” Sloan said. He’s made clear that this effort will not replace government assistance, but because the federal resources have been overwhelmed, individuals must step up.

Sloan calls the effort a “supply chain of love to support Americans who are in dire, dire straits down there.”

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