1-woman Puerto Rico relief operation out of NYC apartment
NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Jamie Harper has become a one-woman hurricane-relief operation. The Upper East Side makeup artist's apartment is full of supplies for Puerto Rico, which she'll pack in suitcases to fly back with later this week—just days after returning from the island.
Harper's mother and three brothers live in Puerto Rico. She says that although they're among the many still without power, they've fared far better than others who live in remote areas in the mountains, where countless people are still waiting for help.
"There's no light from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.," she said of the lack of electricity. "There's so many things I saw that are just inhumane."
Harper rented a car and spent a week on the island driving around with supplies, even feeding abandoned animals. She documented everything along the way, posting pictures and videos to her Instagram, including the stories of people she says have been forgotten.
"We are out of electricity, water, and you don't have anything to do, the companies are closing, the people are scared," said Carlos, a man she interviewed at the airport as he and his family waited to board a flight to Miami, where they plan to relocate.
Friends and New York organizations have helped Harper gather more supplies for when she returns this Friday.
"I got to about 10 towns and I repeated two towns, Las Marias and Utuado, and I wanted to go again because there are so many people who have still not seen help," she said.
Harper has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her travel and supplies.
She has also tried to contact airlines to see if they'll waive baggage fees so she doesn't have to pay extra to bring the supplies down.