Puerto Ricans are left reeling in the wake of Hurricane Maria as they cope with its catastrophic impact, and several prominent Puerto Ricans — like Luis Fonsi and Jennifer Lopez — have used their platforms to encourage their fans and audiences to help.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is working with the Hispanic Foundation to provide aid through the UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund, and for Miranda, it's extremely personal, as members of his family — and the place he'd spend his summers as a kid — have been directly devastated by Maria's merciless winds.
In a letter to Billboard's readers, Miranda shares memories of his time spent at the home of his grandparents in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. His uncle lives across the street, and though his uncle's place had a strong foundation that could withstand the storm, the summertime retreat of Miranda's didn't: "As Maria roared toward the island, my family in Puerto Rico braced for impact. They knew Abuelo Guisin's wooden dream home — where I worked on new musicals during summer breaks from college — could not possibly withstand a major hurricane... My late grandfather's dream home is in pieces."
Miranda goes on to stress that his family is "very lucky" in that no one was harmed, but that Puerto Rico, on the whole, was not. "They and their fellow American citizens on the island now face a host of mounting crises — a lack of running water, a shattered power grid, days without electricity and telephone service and access to the wider world," he writes. "Puerto Ricans need supplies and resources just as badly as their fellow Americans in Texas and Florida, and this need is magnified by their geographic isolation from the mainland."
Every single tweet of his shares a link to the Hispanic Foundation UNIDOS fund, and one revealed that he's working on a new song to benefit these efforts. For more information on how you can contribute to Hurricane Maria recovery efforts through the UNIDOS fund, click here.