Mark Zuckerberg is using the power of communication to send aid to Puerto Rico. The Facebook CEO announced on Wednesday, September 27, that he is sending a team to the island to help it rebuild after Hurricane Maria left the majority of the US territory without electricity. “I've been following the news from Puerto Rico where millions of Americans still don't have food, water, fuel and electricity after Hurricane Maria,” he penned in an emotional Facebook post.
VIEW GALLERY Mark is sending an communications team to the island to help restore service to the island Photo: Getty Images
Mark continued, “Communication is critical during a disaster. With 90% of cell towers on the island out of service, people can't get in touch with their loved ones -- and it's harder for rescue workers to coordinate relief efforts.” The father-of-two announced that he is putting together a special team to work on restoring power and communication. He shared, “We're working to get Puerto Rico back online. We're sending the Facebook connectivity team to deliver emergency telecommunications assistance to get the systems up and running.”
The 33-year-old continued: “We're also supporting this work with a $1.5 million donation to NetHope and the World Food Programme. We're also donating Facebook ads to get critical information to people in the region on how to get assistance and stay safe.” Last week Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island with damaging winds and heavy rainfall, resulting in flooding and major destruction. Stars have rallied behind the island, donating money, supplies and time to rebuilding the US territory.
Daddy Yankee donated an additional $1 million to relief efforts Photo: Getty Images
Puerto Rican native Daddy Yankee also announced that in addition to the $300,000 he donated to local organizations, he is giving $1 million for hurricane relief. "I am extremely grateful to the support I have been given by the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Puerto Rican Family Institute and Hispanic Federation to become the vehicle for my call to action for emergency aid to help Puerto Rico," he told HOLA! USA. "This is only the beginning. There is a lot to do still." The singer, whose real name is Ramon Ayala Rodriguez, reunited with his wife and kids on the island on Thursday. His donation will be distributed among Feeding America, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the local organizations.
Country group Lady Antebellum is using the power of music to heal the island where they shot the latest video for their single Heart Break. The CMA-nominated group, which consists of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, felt the need to continue to raise awareness for the island that brought them the colorful Spanish colonial buildings and culture that served as the back drop to their latest visuals.
"We got to meet so many locals and enjoy everything that Puerto Rico has to offer. We are just completely heart broken to see the devestation,” Hillary Scott said in a statement. "We want to do everything we can to support this incredible place and these incredible people. We just hope and pray for their safety and that rebuilding happens quickly. We encourage everyone to give whatever they can to help. The Need You Now singers made a $200,000 donation from the LadyAID foundation to hurricane relief efforts via MusicCares and United for Puerto Rico."
VIEW GALLERY Ricky was surprised with a check going towards relief efforts by Ellen Photo: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
On Thursday, Ricky Martin made a passionate plea on the Ellen DeGeneres Show for fans to continue helping the island. “I am from Puerto Rico and right now, Puerto Rico is suffering,” he said. “We were destroyed by a hurricane and it has been very difficult. Right now, there is no water, there is no electricity, there is no food, there is no medicine, there is no diesel for the generators that will make the hospital work. People are dying. So, as a Puerto Rican, as an American that I am, I am here to ask for your help.”
To his surprise, the talk show host surprised the Livin' la Vida Loca singer with an $80,000 donation on behalf of Cheerios and General Mills. “If every single person listening to this right now, just a $1. If everyone gave $1 imagine what that would do,” Ellen said after presenting the check to Rcky. “Imagine. I mean you’ve seen the images they are heartbreaking and these are people that we can help. We can’t just watch the images and be depressed or feel horrible about it. We have to help these people. And we want to help, so our friends at Cheerios and General Mills are donating $80,000 to Hurricane Maria relief. We will not forget you.”