Portuguese communities living in the USA have raised nearly €300,000 for the victims of the devastating Pedrógão Grande fires.
“Like all Portuguese, we woke up on that weekend (June 17-18) and decided we had to help,” Jack Costa from the Sport Clube Português de Newark told Lusa news agency, referring to the killer fires which raged for almost a week, killing 65 and devastating 53,000 hectares of forestland.
Most of the money (around €172,000) was raised by the ‘Juntos Por Portugal’ (Together for Portugal) campaign, which involved fundraising events organised by over 30 associations in the state of New Jersey.
In New York, around €90,000 was raised by the ‘Grupo de Residentes de Farmingville’ with the help of the Portuguese American Center of Suffolk.
Also involved in New York’s fundraising efforts were Big Apple Supply, Alheirense Cultural Centre, Academia de Bacalhau, Daughters of Portugal and the New York Portuguese American Leadership Conference.
Further south, a campaign in Palm Coast, Florida raised around €25,000.
Costa added that he is in contact with Pedrógão Grande council to obtain an “official list of the people who lost their home” so that they can hand the money over directly to the victims.