A group plans to gather in Piedmont Park Sunday afternoon to raise awareness of the dire needs people have after Hurricane Maria devastated the area.
Laura Murvartian organized the event from 1 to 3 p.m. to show the people of Puerto Rico they have not been forgotten.
“Let's continue to raise awareness of their plight,” Murvartian said on Facebook.
Maria Carrero told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this is personal for her because her family is in Puerto Rico.
“My friends ask me how they are doing. We respond that they are ‘OK,’ but OK means that they are alive and have a roof over their heads,” Carrero said. “Their reality has been completely disrupted.”
Carrero said she and fellow Atlantans are coming together to show the people of Puerto Rico that they are not forgotten and to “raise awareness that 3.5 million Americans need our help now.”
Murvartian encourages anyone who plans to attend to wear red, white or blue and bring hand-carried signs with messages of support.
Gatherers are asked to meet at the Charles Avenue entrance of Piedmont Park.
Backlash over President Donald Trump’s criticism of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on social media early Saturday may motivate some to show support of the people’s plight.
Trump’s comment on Cruz’s “poor leadership ability” in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria came in response to the mayor’s criticism of a Trump administration official who said the federal relief effort 10 days after Maria hit the island commonwealth was “a good news story,” Reuters reported.
“Damn it, this is not a good news story,” Cruz told CNN. “This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a life or death story. It is not a good news story when people are dying.”
Murvartian told The AJC she wants people to focus more on showing support for the people of Puerto Rico than rallying against a “bully.”
During Sunday’s gathering she will remind people to register to vote “and hold our government accountable through that process,” Murvartian said.
While the group meeting in Piedmont Park is not set up logistically to take donated supplies, local restaurants in the metro Atlanta area are sending much needed water, insect repellent, food and other items to Puerto Rico.
Buen Provecho Restaurant in Marietta and Porch Light Latin Kitchen in Smyrna took donations from the local community over the last week and on Sunday are loading supplies onto cargo planes bound for Puerto Rico.
The Kennesaw Police Department announced Thursday that it is also collecting donations that will be sent on a cargo plane.
“More than 3 million United States citizens are in desperate need of assistance,” the department said.
Local residents can drop off items at the department headquarters, 2539 J.O. Stephenson Ave. A complete list of suggested items is here.
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