In the months since Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico the outpouring of support I’ve seen from the AvGeek community has been incredible. Fueled in large part by small donations from individuals Operation Puerto Rico Care Lift raised more than a quarter million dollars.
That was converted into direct aid to the people in and around Aguadilla, with Spirit Airlines providing transportation of the goods on its planes and Lufthansa Technik‘s MRO at the Aguadilla airport supporting the logistics. The Care Lift efforts wrapped up but there is still much to be done in Puerto Rico which brings us to the next leg of this journey: Operation Puerto Rico Gift Lift.
Yesterday, our 1st of 3 @SpiritAirlines jet sleighs traveled to @LHTechnik in Aguadilla, PR. This flight was packed to the brim with 7 tons of donated toys & gifts. The #OpPRGiftLift team was greeted with overwhelming gratitude. Please join the cause! https://t.co/cs796k8Js0 pic.twitter.com/qUFDoyXuiz
— Chris Sloan (@airchive) November 27, 2017
Our same crew of volunteers is working tirelessly to help ensure that Christmas includes a bit of joy for the children of Puerto Rico. We have Spirit on board with three plane’s worth of cargo capacity (~50,000 pounds of lift!) and a plan to be on the island in person for distribution on December 10th as part of a party to celebrate the people how have pushed through the disaster and bring happiness to the holidays.
WHOA! Santa came early as IONtv sent a huge amount of gifts just for teens. Our #1 corporate donor from #OpPRCareLift went back for seconds in true T-Day style for the #PuertoRico Gift-Lift! Muchas Gracias! Join us & select gifts from our Amazon Wish List: https://t.co/n6PeL6Z4g0 pic.twitter.com/cjj313sgI9
— Chris Sloan (@airchive) November 25, 2017
And that’s where you come in to play. We’re still looking to fill up those bright yellow sleighs to bring as much as we can to the island. The first plane went in full already but we have two more between now and the 10th and we could use your help in filling them.
The team is once again raising cash through GoFundMe as well as soliciting direct donations of goods through an Amazon.com Wish List. Please do not shop off the list as we’ve picked things we know can be loaded on the planes and safely transported.
Big Things Come In Small Packages! You, our individual donors make the biggest difference to #OpPRGiftLift. We've received lovely gifts at our offices & via our @amazon Wish List. Thank You for Saving the Holidays for #PuertoRico! Here's our Amazon List: https://t.co/n6PeL6Z4g0 pic.twitter.com/LY2eCzN6Kk
— Chris Sloan (@airchive) November 24, 2017
And, if you happen to be in the Miami area this weekend there’s another opportunity to help out. The Miami Children’s Museum is running a toy drive in support of Operation PR Gift Lift this Saturday. The first 500 to donate new, unwrapped toys at the museum will receive free admission. Plus a few other special events during the day.
Read More: Why I stayed put: A PRCareLift update
I know many folks have donated already and for that I’m tremendously grateful. Hopefully a few more will be able to chip in over the next couple days.