By now, you’ve probably heard of how Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and how many people need help because they don’t have food, water, or electricity. What you don’t know is how two students from Puerto Rico decided to make a difference to help their Island and try to make it shine again.
Mayra Herrero’s main goal was to help Puerto Rico in any way she could. She thought that by baking brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and banana bread, people would take one and eat it on the way to class. That’s how her idea of the bake sale came to be.
Here are a few questions we asked Mayra and her answers:
Q: What made you decide do to the bake sale?
A: During and after the hurricane, images of devastation started flooding in and I felt useless. Just after a few hours a campaign was started by Puerto Rican students in the diaspora and soon after there was an action plan. Each university representative was supposed to raise at least a $1,000. One of my friends contacted the student senate for help and we decided on starting our fund raising efforts with a bake sale, it would be quick and easy to put together.
Q: How did you feel you were making an impact by doing the bake sale?
A: I felt that by raising even $5 it would make me feel less impotent. I didn’t think the students campaign would go as far as it did, so I was unsure about how big of an impact we would be able to have. Once I realized how much we raised, I can only imagine how many people we are going to be able to help.
Q: What were your monetary goals? Did you meet them or surpassed them?
A: As I said before, each school was supposed to raise $1,000 but I thought it would take us a few events to get there. I expected the bake sale was going to help us raise about $500, but thanks to the generosity of students, faculty, and staff on campus we were able to raise $2,100 with just one bake sale.
Camila Acosta is a sophomore who also helped in Mayra’s bake sale. After, Camila still wanted to do something that made her feel at home, so she introduced Puerto Rican food to those who have never tried it. Which by the way, “It’s the best!”, as Camila said.
Here are a few questions we asked Camila and her answers:
Q: What made you think of doing a Puerto Rican cookout?
A: After the bake sale, I thought that we should try to address a different crowd, since we know that students are usually on a budget and can’t make large donations. I thought that people that live close to our university attend the 11am mass and would enjoy a tasty meal for a good cause.
Q: What comments have you heard from your friends or faculty members by doing this cookout?
A: Everyone thought the food was delicious and that it was very thoughtful on our part to show off our culture while raising funds. In addition, our cookout took place the same day as the Fall Open House, so it was nice for prospective students to see, not only the diversity we have on campus, but how we give each other a hand in times of need.
Q: How do you feel by doing the cookout?
A: It was a very rewarding experience because I believe during this situation, Puerto Ricans living in the States share a feeling of impotence because we can’t physically help the ones in need. This activity helped us feel like we were doing something.