On Thursday, February 13, 2020, Union for Puerto Rican Students at UIC (UPRS) partnered with various organizations on campus, including the Latin American and Latino Studies Department, Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES), the Department of Biological Sciences, and the Latino Cultural Center (LCC), to host an arts-based activism event (ARTivism) called “Valentines For Puerto Rico.”
At this event, we encouraged participants to send messages of love and support to people on the island who are continually affected by earthquakes. The LCC had printed card templates that were blank, which allowed participants to draw their own images on the back and write unique messages on the front. We also collected donations in the form of PayPal and cash, and those donations went directly to the Puerto Rican Agenda, to be distributed in Puerto Rico to non-profit organizations and/or grass root organizations better equipped to distribute those resources.
All in all, the fundraiser was a huge success! We had a turnout of about 40 people, and we raised $352 in donations. We also had 52 cards made that went directly to people in Puerto Rico, and out of those, a handful of cards were selected to be printed and avai– lable for sale, to continue to raise funds.
From what José E. López, Adjunct Professor at UIC and member of the Puerto Rican Agenda, shared with us, the reaction from people on the island was overwhelmingly positive. They were touched by the fact that we were thinking of them and sending support, both mentally as well as monetarily. We also did raise awareness for the cause and for UPRS, which we hope will translate into larger turnouts for our future endeavors.
By Lici Rivera
Union for Puerto Rican Students at UIC