Pie for Puerto Rico: Andover Students Organize Fundraiser for Hurricane Fiona Aftermath

Hurricane Fiona, a Category 4 hurricane, devastated a still-recovering Puerto Rico earlier this month. In the wake of the natural disaster, Bianca Morales ’24 and Daniel Romero ’24 decided to organize a fundraiser to provide essential supplies for Puerto Ricans.

Every Thursday, until November 10, organizers and volunteers will be selling raffle tickets for two dollars apiece outside Paresky Commons, with the incentive of a chance to pie either a Blue Key Head or one of the Student Body Co-Presidents. The proceeds from this part of the fundraiser, named “Pie for Puerto Rico,” will be donated to Light and Hope for Puerto Rico, an organization created to lead disaster-relief missions.

The fundraiser was initially started two weeks ago, when student organizers took student donations in return for candy, an effort named “Relief 4 PR.” Profits were donated to Brigada Solidaria del Oeste, a grassroots mutual aid organization devoted to disaster relief and community development projects in Puerto Rico. 

“Light and Hope for Puerto Rico [is] an organization run by an Andover alum, Salvador Gómez-Colón [’21]. He was [a Student Body Co-President at Andover]. When Hurricane Maria hit during his freshman year at Andover, he started this entire organization [targeting disaster relief in Puerto Rico]. We thought it would be great to donate to him because he is connected to Andover,” said Morales.

Five years ago, when Hurricane Maria occured, Romero was part of a fundraising program at his old school. Using his past experience, Romero was inspired to begin fundraising work at Andover in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.

“When Hurricane Maria hit, I actually did something like this in my old middle school. My middle school was a Catholic school, so we were required to wear uniforms. [To] raise money for these food banks, we did this thing where [if] you donated a dollar minimum, you could [dress casually]. We raised around 1,300 dollars in total,” said Romero. 

Since its recent launch, the fundraiser has seen considerable success. The profits from selling raffle tickets added up to 1,000 dollars in a single day, amounting to a total of 2,300 dollars from both the raffle and donation days combined.

“I think [this fundraiser has] been pretty successful. I don’t mean to pat myself on the back, but in the second phase within a single day, we raised 1,000 dollars. So far, we’ve raised 2,300 dollars in total, which is great, especially considering we’ve technically only been out there for three days. [Raising] 1,000 dollars [by] selling two dollar raffle tickets. That’s a lot of people,” said Morales. 

In addition to the organizers, many students have volunteered and committed their time and effort to participate in the fundraiser. Ethan Principal ’24, a volunteer for Pie for Puerto Rico, decided to help the cause out of sympathy for the struggle many Puerto Ricans are facing.

“Bianca and I have been friends since freshman year and I saw how passionate they were about helping Puerto Rico. [For] me, this hit kind of close to home because I’m also Caribbean, so I understand how these natural disasters can really impact people in the Caribbean and how it really negatively affects them,” said Principal. 

Sui Yu ’23, a current Student Body Co-President, felt as though the fundraiser could have been more widely recognized with faculty help. Despite her apprehensions, Yu commended Morales and Romero’s hard work through the efforts that they were able to take alone regarding outreach.

“I think it may have had more outreach if it involved faculty, because I think faculty are more universal figures on campus, so maybe there would have been greater participation. I think maybe freshmen would be hesitant to pie some Seniors, because they don’t really know them. But regardless, it’s a great fundraiser and I think they’re doing a great job getting the word out there, especially with their presentation at [All-School Meeting], posting on social media, and the music outside [Paresky],” said Yu. 

Morales voiced her appreciation for those who have donated thus far, as well as for those who have volunteered their time. 

“I just want to say a big thank you. We could not have done this without our volunteers. So many people just decided to volunteer out of the kindness of their hearts. They helped us, using their lunch period [when] they could have been doing work or relaxing to sell tickets and be out there with us. I just wanted to say that we could not have made this happen without our volunteers,” said Morales. 

Editor’s Note: Daniel Romero ’24 is a Business Staff member and Bianca Morales ’24 is an Associate News Editor for The Phillipian.