Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico makes more than $1 million in grants

Grassroots efforts in Puerto Rico to receive over $700,000, relocation-related support highlights statewide needs

December 18, 2017

BostonMassachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico today announced it had approved more than $1 million to grassroots organizations in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico, the latest in what will be an ongoing effort to support relief, reconstruction and relocation efforts through 2018.

The grants announced today comprise $1,005,000 in funding to 40 organizations. 27 organizations, receiving a combined $740,000, are focused on grassroots relief and reconstruction in Puerto Rico. The remaining $265,000 is focused on 13 organizations that provide frontline support for families and individuals displaced from Puerto Rico to Massachusetts.

“We are pleased to be getting more than a million dollars out to organizations that are working on the ground to help people in Puerto Rico and here in Massachusetts,” said Juan Carlos Morales, co-chair of Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico. “This is just the first stage of a long-term effort to meet the long-term needs of those displaced from the island and of those who are working in Puerto Rico to return life there to normal.”

Relocation-related funds distributed throughout Massachusetts

The largest share of the $265,000 approved in relocation-related grants are earmarked for organizations serving the influx of families from Puerto Rico in Western Massachusetts. The largest relocation grants include a $40,000 grant to Enlace de Familias in Holyoke and $35,000 to the New North Citizens’ Council in Springfield, which are working to assist the thousands of Puerto Ricans who have arrived in the Pioneer Valley over the past three months. Providence Ministries of Holyoke ($20,000), the Family Resource Center of Springfield ($15,000) and Behavioral Health Network of Holyoke ($8,000) are also receiving grants.

In Greater Boston, four organizations are receiving $20,000 each: The Home for Little Wanderers, Chelsea Collaborative, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción and Sociedad Latina.

Other grants seek to support relocation agencies include $30,000 to the United Way of Central Massachusetts (Worcester), $25,000 to the United Way of Greater New Bedford, $7,000 to the Wayside-Framingham Family Resource Center and $5,000 to Family Services of the Merrimack Valley in Lawrence.

“Western Massachusetts has received the largest share of the estimated 5,000 Puerto Ricans arriving in the Commonwealth since Maria, so it’s only sensible that we should direct the largest share of support there,” said Fund co-chair Aixa Beauchamp. “People from across Massachusetts have donated to support this effort, and as new families arrive, we will the support organizations who are helping them no matter where they are in the Commonwealth.”

Fundraising tops $3 million for relief, recovery, and relocation, combining small and leadership donations

More than 1,800 individuals have made credit card donations to Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico since its launch, totaling more than $300,000 in small gifts. In addition, thousands of other people have made small donations at fundraisers and other events across the state to benefit the fund.

In all, the Fund to date has received just over $3 million in grants and pledges, with more donations urged and expected in the coming months. Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico would like to recognize leadership gifts from the Walton Family Foundation, the MassMutual Foundation, Steward Healthcare, the Clippership Foundation, the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, and many others, for bolstering the amounts available for recovery and relocation efforts.

New grants target grassroots relief efforts across Puerto Rico

Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico is continuing to find and support organizations throughout Puerto Rico that are meeting the emergency needs of thousands on the island, providing much needed project and general operating support to a roster of nearly three dozen organizations. Many of the organizations on the docket provide critical health, food, and mental health support to the island’s most vulnerable populations: youth, the elderly, the homeless, and other disengaged and disenfranchised organizations. 

“This docket is the result of an unmatched combination of generosity, partnerships, and weeks of diligent research to identify and connect with grassroots organizations across the island – many of whom have been doing their critical work under unimaginably difficult circumstances,” said Vanessa Calderon-Rosado, co-chair of the Fund. “These organizations are quite literally saving lives every day.

Grants listed below include the grant award amount, the home office location of the grantee and a brief description of their area of focus. All grants are for general operating support unless otherwise specified.

Puerto Rico grantees

Location Focus Amount
Agua Sol y Sereno San Juan Mental health and community services $20,000**
Albizu University San Juan/Mayaguez Mental health services $40,000
Andanza San Juan Mental health and community services $20,000**
Aspira Inc. de Puerto Rico Carolina/Mayaguez Education, poverty reduction $20,000
Banco de Alimentos Bayamon Food bank $40,000
Centros sor Isolina Ferré, Inc. Coamo Targeted education programs $25,000
Centros sor Isolina Ferré, Inc. Ponce/Caimito Education, training programs $20,000
Consejo Renal de Puerto Rico San Juan/islandwide Dialysis services and support $25,000
Conservatorio de Artes de Caribe San Juan Mental health and community services $25,000
Corporacion Milagro de Amor Caguas Basic needs, elder support $30,000
Corporacion Pinones se Integra Loiza Basic needs, arts $15,000
El Instituto Tercera Mission (IM3) San Juan Community services evaluation $20,000
El Museo de Arte Contemporaneo San Juan Mental health and community services $20,000**
Fundacion Casa Cortes San Juan Mental health and community services $25,000
Fundacion Hospital Pediatrico San Juan Pediatric hospital $25,000
Fundacion Musica & Pais Loiza Mental health and community services $20,000**
Iniciativa Comuntaria de Investigacion San Juan Critical care for high-risk, disengaged $40,000
Instituto Desarrollo Juventud San Juan Advocacy for youth $50,000*
Instituto Nueva Escuela Islandwide Education network $40,000
Jovenes En Riesgo Loiza Youth, mental health $35,000
La Fondita de Jesus San Juan Food, health services targeting at-risk elders $30,000
Nuestra Escuela Caguas/Loiza Education, emergency aid $20,000
Orfeon San Juan Bautista San Juan Mental health and community services $25,000
Proyecto De Educación Comunal De Entrega (PECES) Humacao Emergency aid, education of at-risk youth $20,000
Proyecto Nacer Bayamon Education, support for at-risk mothers $20,000
Proyecto Nueva Esperanza San Antonio Food, case management for at-risk elders $30,000
Salud Integral en la Montaña Naranjito/Toa Alta Rural health services $25,000
University of Puerto Rico School of Pharmacy San Juan/rural areas Rural health services $15,000


* $25,000 of the $50,000 is in form of a 1:1 fundraising challenge grant
** These grants qualify for a 1:1 match from Fundacion de Banco Popular 

Massachusetts grantees
Enlace de Familias Holyoke $40,000
New North Citizens’ Council Springfield $35,000
United Way of Central Mass. Worcester $30,000
United Way of Greater New Bedford New Bedford $25,000
Chelsea Collaborative Chelsea $20,000
Home for Little Wanderers Boston $20,000
Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion Boston $20,000
Providence Ministries Holyoke $20,000
Sociedad Latina Boston $20,000
Family Resource Center of Springfield Springfield $15,000
Behavioral Health Network Holyoke $8,000
Wayside-Framingham Family Resource Center Framingham $7,000
Family Services of the Merrimack Valley Lawrence $5,000


To learn more and for the latest information about Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico, visit