Clean Power Lake County joined forces with other environmental, faith and civic organizations in Waukegan and surrounding Lake County communities on December 7, 2017, to raise $5,236 to help Puerto Rico hurricane victims and highlight the critical need to act on the climate crisis.
The climate action event, held at the Puerto Rican Society in Waukegan, was hosted by Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, Sierra Club, the Puerto Rican Society and Clean Power Lake County.
At the time of the benefit, more than 10 weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the majority of the island still lacked reliable electrical power and safe drinking water.
The ongoing needs of Puerto Rico residents, especially in light of inadequate response by President Trump’s administration, motivated people attending the benefit to act.
“I am determined to make a difference for Puerto Rico. Like a small grain of sand, from a small organization in Waukegan, I will make a difference,” said Lucy Rios of the Puerto Rican Society.
Among those making donations to help hurricane victims were members of the Waukegan High School JROTC. They presented $1,000 to Rios.
Community members also donated supplies such as bottled water, diapers, flashlights, and batteries.
“Hurricane Maria may have fallen out of the headlines, but our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico still need us to step up for them,” Lawlor said. “Frequent, severe storms like Hurricane Maria are unmistakable warnings of the escalating impacts of climate change. Washington’s failure to act leaves our economic future more uncertain and the destruction of our environment more rapid.”
In Lake County, 17 public officials have joined Lawlor in signing the bipartisan Lake County Climate Action Pledge.
Faith in Place, which works with houses of worship throughout Illinois to protect our land, air and water, is the first community organization to sign the pledge.
Other organizations participating in the event included Citizens Utility Board, Livable Lake County, Mano A Mano, Moms Clean Air Force, Sierra Club Woods and Wetlands Group, Waukegan Township, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
The Lake County News-Sun published a nice recap of the December 6 benefit.