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Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Mobilizes Regional Offices to Support Communities Nationwide After Terrorist Attacks
September 12, 2001
WASHINGTON --The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) is leading the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's efforts on the mainland to coordinate with disaster relief agencies and community based organizations in order to provide information and assistance to Puerto Ricans on the island and the mainland in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC. Over 1.5 million Puerto Ricans live and work in the New York City area, raising concerns among Puerto Rican communities nationwide and on the Island about relatives and friends who may be affected by the disaster.
Through its network of nine regional offices nationwide and its headquarters in Washington, DC., PRFAA will be responding to requests for information from community members and coordinating with local and federal authorities in disaster recovery and relief efforts. PRFAA is working directly with the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies to funnel information about the rescue and relief efforts to Puerto Rican communities everywhere.
Regional offices are typically staffed from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays, but until further notice phones will be answered 24 hours a day in order to be as responsive as possible to members of the community during these difficult times. Anyone seeking information about the status of activity in New York, emergency contact phone numbers, grief counseling referrals, or other disaster-related information can contact their local PRFAA office for assistance. Community members may also call PRFAA's main office at 202-778-0710. Phones at both the main and regional offices will be staffed 24 hours a day.
Although PRFAA will work with local community-based organizations to support benefit events and other fundraising efforts for disaster victims, the most urgent need is for blood donations.
"We will assist in planning and implementing blood drives in various communities nationwide, because that is the primary need," said Mari Carmen Aponte, Executive Director, "732 units of blood were sent today from Puerto Rico to New York and that's still not enough. We "puertorriquenos" know how to come together as one united community and I know we'll be able to make a difference for the victims of this horrible tragedy."
In addition, volunteer health professionals such as doctors, nurses and paramedics from outside the New York area are needed to assist with the recovery effort. Volunteers should call 1-845-429-5894.
Members of the community are invited to call on their local or national PRFAA offices for assistance during this crisis or visit our website at http://www.prfaa.com for additional information. PRFAA's offices are located in the following areas:
Washington Headquarters, Mari Carmen Aponte, Executive Director
1100 17th Street, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 778-0710 phone, (202) 632-1288 fax, 1-800-PR-AYUDA toll-free
New England Region, Reyes Rodriguez, Regional Director
31 St. James Avenue, Suite 570, Boston, MA 02116
(617) 350-6400 phone, (617)350-6573 fax
New York Region, Felix Lopez, Regional Director
475 Park Avenue South, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10016
(212) 252-7300 phone, (212) 252-7323 fax
New Jersey Region, Gloria Soto, Regional Director
744 Broad Street, Suite 1906, Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 824-6030 phone, (973) 824-6130 fax
Connecticut Region, Edna Negron, Regional Director
100 Pearl Street, 12th Floor, Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 522-2434 phone, (860) 522-2579 fax
Pennsylvania Region, Gerardo Colon, Regional Director
2 Penn Center, Suite 450, 15th & JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 851-9930 phone, (215) 851-9931 fax
Central Florida Region, Luis Pastrana Silva, Regional Director
400 South Orange Avenue, 9th Floor, Orlando, FL 32802
(407) 423-4422 phone, (407) 423-4008 fax
South Florida Region, Manuel Benitez-Gorbea, Regional Director
800 Douglas Road, Suite 149, Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 448-5145 phone, (305) 448-7184 fax
Midwestern Region, Maddi Amill, Regional Director
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2330, Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 372-9377 phone, (312) 372-0292 fax
650 Town Center Drive, Suite 1340, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 432-9833 phone, (714) 432-9842 fax
Statement by Hon. Anibal Acevedo-Vila
September 12, 2001
America Will Prevail
Yesterday we all witnessed in shock and disbelief the worst terrorist attack in the history of this great country. America was attacked by a faceless enemy, a coward in the shadows. Many innocent lives were shattered by these horrendous acts of terrorism. I fully support the President's efforts to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. I am confident that justice will be served and that these crimes will not remain unpunished.
My deepest sympathies go to those who yesterday lost their loved ones in Washington and New York. May God Almighty give them peace and comfort them in their grief.
Terrorism will not undermine the strength of this nation and the will of our people. There are still many questions in our hearts. As we look for answers, let us work together through these difficult times. America is at war against forces of terror and destruction. Peace, liberty and democracy will prevail. America will prevail.
Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Celeste Diaz Ferraro, 202/955-8449 or 210/823-7524 Ana Carrion, 202/955-8451 or 703/475-4415