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Herriman woman working to bring light to Puerto Rico amid devastation

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 20:01:07-05

Puerto Ricans continue to face devastating effects as massive earthquakes continue to crumble homes, businesses, churches and more.

People are sleeping in their cars or tents, not knowing when the next quake could hit.

“The good thing about us Puerto Ricans is that we don’t give up,” said Carolee Hernandez, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico.

It’s not easy for anyone to see this type of devastation, but it’s especially difficult to see the place you were born and raised in such pain.

“My heart is back home and it’s really, really hard," Hernandez said.

Hernandez moved from Puerto Rico to the United States about eight years ago. Many people she loves still live there.

“Going on social media, and reading what’s going on and seeing the pictures, it’s just heartbreaking. I want to help, I want to do something,” she said.

This week, Hernandez has decided to start raising money to bring some light, both literally and figuratively, to the people of Puerto Rico. She called her contact over at the Light Up Foundation, who told her what people needed right now was lights.

Hernandez is using the donations to purchase solar-powered lamps from Mpowered. The company is allowing her to purchase the lights at cost for about $9, she said. So far, she has purchased 130 lamps and sent them to the island she loves.

“I’ve already sent the first batch over, and I am hoping to send a lot more,” she said.

She is collecting donations through her Venmo, @Carolee-Hernandez. She said she is using Venmo to avoid any fees that are often added when using crowdfunding sites. She asks that you write something about the lights if you send money through Venmo. Hernandez has been posting her receipts to be transparent but understands some people may feel more comfortable donating another way.

The lights are going to the Light Up Foundation.

You can donate to them through their website here.