Puerto Rico Native Organizes Hurricane Relief Effort for Residents of His Former Island Home

Nov 3, 2017 9:55 AM ET

As Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico face the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Points of Light is honoring everyday citizens who stepped up to serve their communities during the immediate response and to embark on the long road to recovery. 


Raised by parents who were heavily involved in the nonprofit sector, Rafael Babilonia learned early on the power of volunteerism and civic engagement. So it is no surprise that, as Hurricanes Irma and Maria threatened the Caribbean, the Puerto Rico native wasted no time in stepping up to help. He knew the devastation to the island he once called home would be substantial, so he began large-scale relief efforts before the storms had even passed.

Rafael organized Unidos por Puerto Rico DMV, with support from Susana Slayton, CEO of Dynamic Animation Systems, where he works in Chantilly, Virginia. Rafael has been working tirelessly to collect supplies and get them to various aid organizations and Puerto Ricans in need – Unidos por Puerto Rico DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia) has already sent nine planes full of supplies to those in need and is not showing any signs of slowing down.

We spoke with Rafael to learn more about his efforts to help the people of Puerto Rico affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Read the full story on the Points of Light blog.