Bachelor Nation’s Mari Pepin Pleads for Help & Support

Mari Pepin

ABC Mari Pepin

While Hurricane Ian dominates the news as it angles toward Florida, one Bachelor Nation star is raising awareness for another recent hurricane that brought massive destruction to her native island of Puerto Rico.

Mari Pepin, who found true love with Kenny Braasch on season 7 of “Bachelor in Paradise,” is very proud of her heritage. As Miss Intercontinental Puerto Rico 2022, Pepin is no stranger to public speaking and working for causes. On September 19, she made her passion for hurricane recovery clear when she posted on Instagram about Hurricane Fiona.

Pepin Still Has Family & Friends in Puerto Rico

The former Miss Maryland USA posted on Instagram, “Just days to the fifth anniversary of #HurricaneMaria, Puerto Rico has been devastated once again by natural disaster. This time, in the form of Cat 1 #HurricaneFiona.”  Pepin explained that Hurricane Fiona “left destruction and devastation behind in many parts of the island that have yet to fully recover from the damages Maria brought five years ago.”

Pepin assured fans, “Thankfully my family and I are all okay, but there are many families who suddenly face a new reality; no home, no food, no shelter and in some cases no way out or across the damaged infrastructure.”

Pepin’s post included pictures of the destruction as well as charities that interested parties could contact to provide donations and relief. “I hope you will join me in supporting these communities in whichever way you can,” she wrote. “Please see the next slides for a few organizations who need our support and donations!”

The rest of the post was written in Spanish, but it translates to “Puerto Rico, you are strong! You are perseverance, you are resilience! You are the spirit of the community helping each other. I know we will rise up as always and come out even stronger. As always, I am motivated to be a part of our recovery, and I will be working for those affected.”

Hurricane Fiona’s Path of Destruction

According to The New Yorker, “Hurricanes have repeatedly brought destruction to Utuado, a town in the mountains of central Puerto Rico. In 2017, Hurricane Maria washed away a bridge that locals depended on; a temporary bridge replaced it.”

The outlet goes on to explain, “Hurricane Fiona then washed away the temporary bridge, an act that seemed symbolic of the short-term fixes and sluggish rebuilding efforts that have plagued the U.S. territory. Since Maria, federal recovery funds have mostly gone to emergency response, not infrastructure, and the vast majority still hasn’t been spent.”

The New York Times reports that “Ten days after Hurricane Fiona, many in Puerto Rico are still without power.”  According to the outlet, “at least three people died and two were injured last week in accidents related to the power outage. A candle fire burned down a house in San Juan, killing two and injuring one. Another person died and another was sent to the hospital after being intoxicated with fumes from a generator.”

Followers of Pepin have been caring and supportive. One Instagram user posted, “So sorry to hear this, sending hugs and prayers.”  Another wrote, “Definetly will donate and share❤️. Praying for Puerto Rico.”

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