San Francisco software investor Orlando Bravo saw a Facebook post Wednesday from the mayor of a town in Puerto Rico, desperately asking for help. A week after Hurricane Maria swept through, the town of Lares was running out of water.
“That picture for me, I couldn’t tolerate it,” said Bravo, a native of the island. “We’re hearing people are panicking, especially in places I know well.”
The private equity investor decided to try to “plug the holes that we hear are not being served,” committing up to $10 million to his homeland, which would be one of the largest donations to hurricane recovery efforts in the U.S. territory that is home to millions of Americans.
But he didn’t want to just write a check. On Friday, Bravo boarded a plane for Florida and said he will charter a jet Saturday, to Aguadilla airport on the northwest side of the island, carrying 100 water purifiers capable of serving 10,000 people in Lares, and at least 20 IVs for another town desperate for the medical supplies.