Hurricane Maria victims get boost from comedian


Courtesy of Roosevelt Skerrit

Morning after Hurricane Maria

Chloe Schneider, Reporter/SCC

On Sept. 16, a category 4 hurricane struck Puerto Rico, leaving some citizens without access to electricity or clean water after Hurricane Maria

Northeast Valley News asked Brianna Baro, a Rhode Island native who wished to speak on behalf of more than half her family who reside in Peurto Rico how they were affected by the hurricane.

The majority of Baro’s family members were greatly impacted.

While describing the difference between the structure of homes built in Rhode Island and in Puerto Rico, Baro recalls that her cousin’s apartment had been hit by flood waters so great that they were waist deep in water.

“The screens are giant holes in a wall with a glass pane, so all of the rain and the debris flying around just totaled the apartments,” Baro said.

People across the nation were stepping up and finding ways in which to help the people hit hard by Hurricane Maria as many were forced to live without food, electricity and water.

Courtesy of Neil Grabowsky
Stephen Colbert at the Montclair Film Festival on Apr. 30, 2016

On Sept. 29, during an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert discussed comedian Nick Kroll’s promotion for his new animated comedy, “Big Mouth,” which was encouraging other celebrities to post childhood pictures of themselves.

Kroll entitled this challenge “puberme”.

Colbert came up with a challenge that connected the humor of celebrity childhood photo embarrassment with a meaningful cause.

“I thought, as long as we’re doing this hashtag here, why not do some good here as well?” Colbert said.

Colbert challenged celebrities to post pictures of themselves at their own embarrassing and pubescent age with the hashtags “PuberMe” and “PuertoRicoRelief”.

In return, The Stephen Colbert Americone Dream Fund pledged to donate $1,000 per picture posted.

Baro was touched by the fund raising effort of the comedian.

“It just warms my heart, it’s a combination of humor, a combination of humility, and it’s a combination of love. It’s one of the simplest acts you can do,” Baro said.

Within one week, the combination of comedy, encouragement and a lofty donation challenge caused dozens of celebrities to share some of their most sacred, posed, childhood pictures all while benefitting victims of Hurricane Maria.

Scottsdale Community College student, Sam Ducey, was among those who appreciated the effort of celebrities who joined in the unique challenge.

“I’m glad that celebrities are using their fame for a good cause,” Ducey said “We all need a good laugh these days.”

The celebrity “puberme” photos can be found on Colbert’s twitter feed Colbert’s twitter feed.