Dec. 1, 2017 — The UF College of Medicine’s Latino Medical Student Association has teamed up with students and faculty to aid ongoing relief efforts in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
The group will host an all-day event Dec. 9 at the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building to gather donations to send to the island, with a special focus on items that help prevent the spread of diseases transmitted through mosquito bites and by drinking polluted water.
In addition to collecting items such as bug spray, self-care products and non-perishable foods, the students hope to raise enough money to fund three DIVVY water filtration systems.
“One DIVVY is capable of making up to 6,000 gallons of clean water every day, which would be enough for an entire community,” says Lymaries Velez, a second-year medical student who is helping to organize the event.
Those interested in donating supplies may bring items to the Harrell Medical Education Building atrium Dec. 4-8 any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The donation drive will culminate with an event Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Harrell Medical Education Building that will include salsa lessons, Zumba classes, activities for children and talks from Puerto Rican medical students about their experiences during and after the hurricane. Those who cannot stay for the festivities are welcome to drop off supplies at the circle in front of the building.
Ultimately, the students hope to host other events in the future that can continue to help provide resources to the island.
“The goal is to become a long-term source of support for Puerto Rico as the island rebuilds,” Velez says.