The creator of “Hamilton” is asking his fans to support relief efforts for his native Puerto Rico, which was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Maria last month.
Playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda sent an email to his Spotify followers directing them to his “For Puerto/Por Puerto Rico” playlist, which includes his new song “Almost Like Praying.” He also asked them to donate to the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS campaign, which is raising money for families affected by the hurricane’s wrath.
“They can’t wait for help,” Miranda wrote. “I am writing to you because you are fans of “Hamilton” and you know the power of you, passionate people coming together to help change the face of history.”
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, shutting down the island’s economy and leaving the majority of its 3.4 million residents without power. In the three weeks since the storm, charities have struggled to get supplies to the people who need them due to vehicle shortages, blocked roads and communication barriers, according to USA Today.
What’s more, donations to Puerto Rican relief efforts have been smaller than money raised by hurricanes Irma and Harvey, the newspaper reported in a separate story. The Red Cross, for instance, had collected $9 million for Hurricane Maria victims compared to $45 million for Irma and $350 million for Harvey. Other charities’ collections have seen similar patterns, the newspaper reported.
It was unclear how much money UNIDOS had raised to date, as well as how much Miranda’s plea impacted that effort.
Puerto Ricans “need immediate assistance, like their fellow American citizens in Texas and Florida (who were struck by Harvey and Irma),” Miranda wrote in his letter. “The humanitarian crisis is magnified by Puerto Rico’s geographic isolation from the U.S. mainland. Let’s make sure they get what they need.”
“Almost Like Praying” features Fat Joe and Joell Oriz, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello and Luis Fonsi, among others. Make a donation to hurricane relief efforts here.