September 29, 2017

Tragedy in Puerto Rico

Although I am based in Los Angeles I still call Puerto Rico home. It has been a very difficult period for me personally and for my family and friends in Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. There has been no communication with the outside world and many of us living outside the island haven’t been able to get in touch with our loved ones. Daily, I try calling friends and relatives multiple times per day hoping that a call can go through without any success. After eight days,  I receive a call from my best friend. The joy of hearing Jorge’s voice was an immense sense of relief for me and my family. He had to drive to a city that had a cellular tower up and running. He told me of the devastation Hurricane Maria has caused, the lack of electricity, water, food and all basic necessities. As he spoke, he had been standing on a line for 6 hours to purchase gasoline, he was only allowed to purchase $10 when he really needed $40 worth of gas. The Banks are not open, the ATM’s are not working and with whatever little cash you have in the pocket there is hardly anything you can buy as the stores are either not open or out of stock. It was just heartbreaking to hear what my fellow Puerto Ricans were going through.
I asked him what I can do from the US to help and he said: “We need anything & everything”. In speaking to my colleagues, we came up with an idea to help with what we know best and decided to send free Mobile airtime to those in need. As more cell towers become functional, at least folks can communicate with their loved ones to let them know they are alive and find a way for relatives to assist them. We are determined to help in any way we can and every bit helps, so providing free airtime would be a small but essential contribution for many to connect with their loved ones. We have partnered up with etopuponline.com to extend help. If you know of people in Puerto Rico who are out of balance on their phones and are in need of top up, please share their phone number here in the comments on this Facebook post

Frank Quiñones
National Sales Manager