HOLYOKE — The City of Holyoke’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been activated to help with relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which has sustained catastrophic damage by Hurricane Fiona.
The response team is made up of community organizations, city officials, and volunteers dedicated to helping their community during emergencies. Currently, a local business owner who is on the CERT team is coordinating Boricua Care Packages. Volunteers are expected to gather and help build these packages today, Sept. 19, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Sports Bar located at 352 High Street, Holyoke.
Specific donations that are needed are listed below. If it’s not on this list. it’s not needed:
- Gift cards for Walmart, CVS or Walgreens.
- Anything solar, such as power banks and small lamps.
- Small flashlights
- Ziploc bags (snack, quart, gallon size)
- Trash bags, 32 gallons or bigger
- Toilet paper rolls (each care package can hold 2 rolls)
- Canned spam
- Potted meat
- Vienna sausages
- Mac & cheese
- Chef Boyardee
- Batteries (AA, AAA, C, D)
- Water purifying tablets and first aid kits
- Soap bars, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Baby wipes
- Small packages of diapers
- Oatmeal pouches
- Pancake mix (just add water)
- Feminine products
- Hand sanitizer
- Small packages of rice
- Mashed potato pouches
- Small boxes of powdered milk
- Small battery-operated radios
- Mosquito repellent
- Battery-operated mini fans
The Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, which also is on the CERT team, will be taking in monetary donations. The monetary donations should be directed to the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, either by check or electronically. Donations can be made via Venmo @GrowHolyoke. Checks can be mailed and made payable to GHCCF, Attn. Hurricane Fiona, 177 High Street, Holyoke, MA 01040. No cash.
These are the efforts that are being undertaken in the short term. The CERT team also has been discussing a preparedness plan on how to respond when migrants make their way to Holyoke from the Island. More information is forthcoming.