September 20, 2017 - the day all of Puerto Rico went dark. No lights. No air conditioning or even a fan in the tropical heat. Nothing cold to drink. No way to keep food refrigerated.
For over 3/4 of the Americans in Puerto Rico this is now the reality of day to day life. Hurricane Maria knocked out the entire power grid on the island when it made landfall, and now, almost 6 weeks later, only 30% of the island has power. It will be a very long time before there is light again. Most of us on the mainland take for granted that we can flip a switch and instantly have light. Just imagine going nearly two months without electricity...with no end to the darkness in sight.
Many individuals, churches, and nonprofits have responded to the needs of our fellow citizens. Aid boxes of food and emergency supplies are being shipped to Puerto Rico. Along with joining the #OneBoxMovement, Renewed Hope is focusing on efforts to help restore power to homes on the island with small solar power systems that will power lights, fans, and small refrigerators for a few hours each day. The systems include a 100 watt solar panel, a charge controller, a 600 watt inverter, and all of the wiring to connect these components. After five hours of sunlight charging a battery, a family can run lights and fans all evening.
The individual systems cost $295 each including shipping. Our fundraising goal will provide 100 systems and get them up and running. The cost also includes money to employ installers on the island to set up the systems and ensure correct installation and operation. This is a win-win situation, bringing much needed power to homes in Puerto Rico and creating a source of income for the installers as well. These systems can be expanded to fulfill futures needs as well as supplying power in emergency situations.