Penn students raising money to help those affected by Hurricane Maria just got a little closer to their goal of $100,000 — with the help of Jimmy Fallon.
The Tonight Show host donated $20,000 to the “Students with Puerto Rico” , helping the group reach nearly $70,000 of their $100,000 . The comedian wrote on the “Students for Puerto Rico” GoFundMe page, “Wanted to get you to your goal! I’m so inspired by what you guys are doing. Love and thoughts to Puerto Rico and everyone affected by Hurricane Maria.”
“It was a dream really,” said College junior Andrea Barreras, who is one of the three Penn organizers of the campaign. “It energized everyone even more for our cause.”
The Penn student organizers are working with representatives from about 85 other United States universities to collect donations for the public-private charitable initiative Unidos Por Puerto Rico.
Fallon’s donation will go towards helping the island, which was ravaged by Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20. The hurricane destroyed much of the island and killed 10 people. estimated that nearly 3.4 million are without power
“There is no school, there is no work, there is no agriculture. It is very difficult,” Barreras said.
Despite the widespread destruction, Barreras is committed to working with fellow students both at Penn and across the country to continue to provide relief to those ravaged by the storm.
“The best part of this has really been the unity of all the Puerto Ricans, many of us who have gotten together and gone through this,” Barreras explained. “It is really difficult being so far away from home with so little communication. We have really banded together.”