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Lin-Manuel Miranda Continues to Raise Awareness for Hurricane Relief Efforts
“Any time I go to Chicago, the first thing I do is come to Division Street. Our Puerto Rican population here is so incredible and so vibrant and so involved…I also wanted to get Puerto Rico on the news and haha! I gotcha! Here you are!”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton (11 Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award, Drama League Award) in Chicago for the Obama Foundation’s inaugural two-day leadership summit stopped by The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Humboldt Park on Wednesday morning to talk about hurricane relief efforts for Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria devastated the island on September 20, 2017 and they still have not recovered: 75% of the island remains without power, 25% without water.
Since Hurricane Maria hit, NMPRAC has worked alongside other partners (The Hispanic Federation, New Life Covenant Church, Norwegian American Hospital, the Puerto Rican Agenda, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, The Puerto Rican People’s Parade) to collect and send supplies like water, food and generators to be distributed throughout the island. Their efforts have not been unsuccessful. Funds have gone to support the following:
- Four planes full of water, generators and other supplies
- Ten containers of food, water, rice, diapers, wipes and other necessary items
- Invested thousands of dollars in Puerto Rico purchasing other goods
- Three distribution centers in San Juan, Bayamon and Manati
- At least 70 of Puerto Rico’s 78 towns have received assistance
- The Chicago Cubs sent a plane with generators and supplies
- Over 1,000 pairs of children’s sneakers were donated
- Medical missionary team of doctors and nurses will arrive on November 8, 2017
- Thousands of dollars of medicine, including antibiotics and insulin
Almost immediately after the storm, Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent, used the two most powerful weapons in his arsenal: his talent and his connections, to help the cause. He wrote a charity single “Almost Like Praying” to pay tribute to the island. He “lit up (his) rolodex” and assembled a who’s who of Puerto Rican artists—Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Camila Cabello, Pedro Capo, Dessa, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis, Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra, Alex Lacamoire, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Moreno, Ednita Nazario, Joell Ortiz, Anthony Ramos, Gina Rodriguez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, PJ Sin Suela, Tommy Torres and Ana Villafane—all of whom agreed without even having heard the song. All proceeds benefit Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund, which donates 100% of its hurricane relief fund to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Help the relief effort by purchasing the single online: https://atlantic.lnk.to/AlmostLikePraying
Miranda, who has a large and active Twitter following, was asked about his now infamous tweet advising the President that “You’re going straight to hell.” He said, “That morning, I was on my way to Los Angeles to begin recording this song and I had just never seen a president do that. I had never seen a president say anything other than say ‘We’re all Americans. We are all working together.’ So when he said what he said and began attacking the victims of a natural disaster….I’m not someone who wastes words and those were the only words I had left. They were the only words I had at my disposal in the face of such a thing.”
Miranda was joined by actor Jon Seda (Chicago PD/Justice/Fire/Med) who stopped by the event to show his support and talked about his grandmother who is in Puerto Rico.
“She looked at the storm and she is still going. She is still fighting….This is about all of us, coming together and doing our part in whatever way we can.”