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The #LiftUpPR campaign was the brainchild of three entrepreneurs—Andrew Page and Anuj Patel, founders of Axle Workout and Andrea Pizziconi, a serial social entrepreneur and musician who founded The Christie Company and Compositions for a Cause.  “We were days away from opening a workout studio in San Juan and suddenly everything was destroyed. With so many family ties to the island, I didn’t want to just sit by and do nothing. So we started asking around to see what we could do, which led us to Andrea who helped us conceive of and strategize the campaign,” said Andrew. “Many times people become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crisis and they shut down, feeling powerless. The spirit of this campaign is to remind everyone, in a fun way, that relatively modest acts of kindness, when encouraged across thousands of people, can really make a huge difference,” said Andrea. “And being in the education sector, we knew there is no more credible partner to pull such a logistical feat like this off than the AFT volunteering their 40,000 members on the ground to get the filters to the families who need them most”.

The campaign is fueled by a diverse group of celebrity influencers ranging from professional athletes, supermodels, actors, musicians, media personalities and politicians including but not limited to Joekim Noah, Amber Valletta, Joe Harris, Lais Ribeiro, Jared Homan, Sameer Zamata, Arlenis Sosa, Randy Jackson, and Maxwell.  “When I got the call to join in as a Puerto Rican artist, it took about two seconds to realize the impact I could make by encouraging my fan base to join and I was all in.” said Grammy Award-winning R&B artist Maxwell.

 
 

#LiftUpPR is a simple challenge that was designed to give each donor a fun way to join a movement of others to show solidarity with their fellow American families on the island. The challenge is simply a social media campaign to encourage followers to take their own fun and creative photos “lifting up” others encouraging followers to take their own photos to post and then text “LIFT” to 69238 or follow a link in social posts to make a donation to Operation Agua.

You can also make a donation on www.liftuppuertorico.com.  Each person who posts is encouraged to challenge three other people to do the same, which spreads the word and ups the stakes on the creativity of the images.  The best images will trend through reposts sparking a light-hearted spirit of creative competition among good-hearted givers.

 
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In order to maximize our impact, #LiftUpPR has chosen to use our advocacy, communications and flexible funding mechanism to amplify efforts already underway on the ground. After extensive due-diligence, the collaborators identified Operation Agua as the most cost-efficient and credible collaborative initiative serving the crisis of bringing clean water to those residents still without access and will be partner with them on this initiative. Spearheaded by the American Federation of Teachers through their 501(c)3 disaster relief fund, and in partnership with Operation Blessing, AFSCME and the Hispanic Federation, Operation Agua leverages the partners’ skills and relationships to bring safe, reliable water to Puerto Rico. The 40,000 members of the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico will serve as volunteers on the ground to distribute water filters and purification systems even the most remote parts of the island. As little as $30 brings a water filter to a family, while $5000 bring a disinfectant generator that can purify 150,000 gallons per day, enough to serve an entire community. Operation Agua has a target goal of 100,000 clean water filters and 50 generators for which the Lift Up PR collaborators seek to assist with a fundraising minimum target of $100,000—impacting over 50,000 families.

 
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List of the influencers, which could have hyperlinks to their sites or just have their names. Do we have this yet?

And growing by the day!

 
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Do we have any pics to make a gallery?

 
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Extra copy I wasn't sure where to put...

Proceeds from #LiftUpPR will benefit Operation Agua, a special initiative launched by the American Federation of Teachers, Operation Blessing, the Hispanic Federation, AFSCME, Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, and Tote Maritime immediately after AFT president Randi Weingarten visited the island and saw the devastation first-hand.  What was clear is that access safe drinking water remains an urgent crisis to address in the short-term.

"As a union, we fight and we care. And when we saw people drinking out of contaminated streams, when our nurses were treating people with massive dehydration and getting sick because of the water, when we read about people drinking water from superfund sites we knew we had to take action,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “We launched Operation Agua to bring immediate relief to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico and we are now delivering water filters to schools and families across the island who have been without reliable access to safe drinking water for nearly two months. We’re thrilled to have the support of Lift Up Puerto Rico to turbocharge so we can help as many people as possible.”

Operation Agua has an goal of purchasing and distributing 100,000 individual water filtration systems for households and classrooms, and 50 large-capacity clean-water devices to a network of nonprofit organizations, union offices, schools, and other community-based groups to provide stable and reliable sources of safe water. A single $30 contribution provides an in-home purifier that requires no electricity and provides more than 10 gallons of safe water per day to a family.

All the featured celebrity influencers and partners involved in the #LiftUpPR campaign have donated their time and contributions to this initiative.

Keep up with the campaign on www.liftuppr.com to see new influencers join. To be part of the World Refugee Day conversation use #LiftUpPR.

For media inquiries, contact: info@liftuppr.com or Andrew Feldman: Andrew@feldmanstrategies.com.