Orange County Government, Florida
Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico Disaster Relief
United we can do more.

In keeping with Central Florida’s long history of neighbors helping neighbors and our culture of care and compassion, Orange County Government is committed to supporting our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters who have been impacted by Hurricane Maria.

In partnership with FEMA, the State of Florida, you and our many community and faith -based organizations, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, the Office of First Lady of Puerto Rico, Mrs. Beatriz Rosselló, the Hispanic Federation, CASA, the Heart of Florida United Way, and the American Red Cross, we are working collaboratively to assist in relief and recovery efforts.

On behalf of Orange County Government, our continued thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors on the Island, our many Central Floridians with friends and family in Puerto Rico, as well as the many first responders, military servicemen and women, and our federal partners who are working to aid in Hurricane Maria recovery.

Disaster Relief banner

Located at the Orlando International Airport (OIA), the purpose of the OIA Multi-Agency Resource/Disaster Relief Center is to assist Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Island families displaced by Hurricane Maria. This OIA Welcome Center is a collaborative effort with the state of Florida, local and federal partners to support recovery efforts, and will match individuals and families with available resources. Orange County has partnered with the Heart of Florida United Way to assist evacuees who seek assistance at the OIA Welcome Center. Resources available include job referrals, health services, individual assistance from FEMA, emotional and spiritual care, supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) and WIC assistance, food assistance, public school system registration, temporary local travel/commuting assistance, English as a second language (ESL) assistance, vaccination for animals, and clothing assistance.

Osceola County has opened the Hurricane Maria Reception Center to provide local resources to hurricane evacuees arriving in Central Florida. Resources available include access to community services, including Medicare; CareerSource, job training and employment resources; WIC; health services for children and families; services for senior citizens; reading, elementary, high school and college education resources; Section 8 housing, LYNX bus services and more.

Seminole County has re-opened their Hurricane Maria FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, located at the Central Branch Library, 215 Oxford Road in Casselberry to support individuals who have suffered loss in Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands. The Center is open Mon. through Sat. from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. "Prepare Seminole" provides links to various services, including student assistance for Seminole State University and Seminole County Public Schools.

The City of Orlando’s Hispanic Office for Local Assistance (HOLA) has partnered with the state and other agencies to provide bilingual services to Puerto Rican newcomers about services and resources provided by City/HOLA, state and local public agencies and philanthropic organizations, such as the American Red Cross and United Way.

How to Help

United for Puerto Rico | How You Can Help
United for Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth by the First lady of Puerto Rico, Mrs. Beatriz Rosselló in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María.

Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank in conjunction with Feeding America are in need of volunteers that can assist at partner agencies that have already begun seeing an increase in recipients. Find out how you can volunteer at www.feedhopenow.org/disaster. Second Harvest Food Bank is also asking for non-perishable food and water donations that can be dropped off at their Orlando facility located at 411 Mercy Drive Orlando 32805. A list of items can be found online at www.feedhopenow.org/disaster.

United Way Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund
The Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief fund was created to assist with emergency assistance and basic needs of those affected. 100% of every dollar raised will go toward alleviating immediate storm-related needs in Puerto Rico, long-term community recovery and displacement assistance for families in Central Florida.

Coordinadora de Apoyo, Solidaridad y Ayuda (CASA)
Coordinadora de Apoyo, Solidaridad y Ayuda (CASA) works to combine local resources from various organizations to provide assistance to victims of natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Florida.

Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration
The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) is dedicated to the task of ably representing and advancing the interests of the Government of Puerto Rico before federal, state, and local governments.

Orlando Unites To Help Puerto Rico
Orlando Unites To Help Puerto Rico provides aid and support to those impacted in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Irma and Maria.

One America Appeal
The One America Appeal is a joint appeal that was originally launched by all five living former American Presidents to encourage their fellow citizens to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey — which inundated the Texas Gulf Coast with unprecedented flooding. This special appeal also includes areas most affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Please be sure to designate Puerto Rican Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is ready to serve on multiple fronts. All donations specified for Puerto Rico will support the Salvation Army’s work taking place there. To donate by phone, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. To make a monetary donation, make the check payable to The Salvation Army, designate it to Hurricane Maria 2017 and send it to The Salvation Army P.O. BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. To receive a donation link via text, text STORM to 51555.

Educational Efforts

Rollins College Discounted Transfer Spring Program
Rollins College is assisting Puerto Rican and Caribbean students affected by recent hurricanes in continuing their collegiate studies with a discounted transfer program for the Spring semester. This program is extended to degree-seeking students who are currently enrolled in Puerto Rican and Caribbean colleges and universities with the goal that those displaced will have a chance to continue their studies. Eligible, admitted students will be charged a flat fee of $8,500 for the Spring 2018 semester only. The fee covers tuition, room and board.

Valencia College Continuing Education & Training
Hurricane Irma and Maria have greatly affected many individuals and families in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands. In the wake of a disaster of this magnitude, Valencia College has multiple education and training programs to assist those individuals migrating to the Orlando Metro area.

UCF Puerto Rico Educational Relief Efforts
To assist current and prospective students, the University of Central Florida has established a website that contains information about admissions, registration, transfer and transition services, and student support programs and services.

Seminole State College Out-Of-State Tuition Waiver
To assist college students relocating to Central Florida from areas hardest hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Seminole State College Out-Of-State Tuition Waiver will waive out-of-state tuition. Under this plan, students from Houston, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have been displaced by these storms but wish to continue their education at Seminole State can apply for this waiver, which will be in effect for 12 months from the date they apply not to extend beyond Spring Term 2019.

Events

Ongoing - Volunteers Needed

  • Second Harvest Food Bank in conjunction with Feeding America are in need of volunteers that can assist at partner agencies that have already begun seeing an increase in recipients. Find out how you can volunteer at www.feedhopenow.org/disaster.
Drop-off Locations

Coordinadora de Apoyo, Solidaridad y Ayuda (CASA)
1602 N. Goldenrod, Orlando, FL 32807
Everyday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Warehouse drop-off location.

Kissimmee - Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) Office
15 S. Orlando Avenue. Kissimmee, FL 34741
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Donations Needed

  • Bottled drinking water
  • Non-perishable food (canned goods)
  • Canned milk
  • Garbage bags
  • Towels, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant
  • Personal hygiene items and feminine products
  • First aid kits
  • Blankets
  • General medicine (aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen)
  • Baby diapers and formula
  • Adult diapers
  • Non-perishable pet food

This page will be updated on a regular basis. Please be sure to check back often.