Unidos for Puerto Rico was one of the dozens of aid organizations set up to provide relief and assistance to the Carribean islands following Hurricane Maria aftermath.
The nonprofit was created by Puerto Rico first lady Beatriz Rosselló, to help those affected by the natural disaster. Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and La La Anthony used their platform to raise awareness to the organization and urged followers to donate. But now a new report claims Rosselló is using some of these donations for things not related to hurricane relief and Joan Smalls is not impressed.
The Puerto Rican-born model shared a story written by El Vocero, which revealed the first lady's plans to use money from the nonprofit to repair recreation facilities such as parks. According to the local newspaper, Rosselló plans to use $30 million dollars for to restore these areas on the island.
"Insane! Thousands of families still without light, water, homes and necessities and you want to restore parks!!Really?! This isn’t y people donated, myself included. This is deeply concerning,” the Victoria's Secret model wrote on Twitter.
#UnidosporPuertorico Insane! Thousands of families still without light, water, homes and necessities and you want to restore parks!! Really?! This isn’t y people donated, myself included. This is deeply concerning @PuertoRicoPUR @UNIDOSxPR @BeatrizRossello https://t.co/zk67HIhe8S
— Joan Smalls (@joansmalls) January 1, 2018
Of course, the model wasn't the only outraged by the news. Representative, Luis Raúl Torres, said, "I hope this is a joke, how will they use 30 million dollars to fix parks when there are thousands of families who lost the roofs of their homes."
Since news broke of the proposal, Rosselló announced on Monday she had withdrawn the proposal. “After the confusion generated by these proposals, I’ll be communicating with the Board of Directors of Unidos por Puerto Rico that I’ll withdraw the projects to focus on helping whoever has more urgent needs," the first lady said in a written statement, as translated by People Chica.
Raúl Torres later took to Twitter to celebrate the decision.
¡Gracias a la Primera Dama Beatriz Rosselló por tener la sensibilidad de retirar su propuesta de usar los $30 millones de Unidos por PR para reparar parques y enfocarse en las necesidades apremiantes de nuestro pueblo!!! https://t.co/rg9tV1sut4
— Luis Raúl Torres (@luisraul2016) January 2, 2018
Like Torres, Puerto Rico holds a very special place in Smalls' heart. In an interview with TRL in October, the 29-year-old talked about how everyone from her beautiful Isla del Ecanto was going to unite and get back on their feets.