This holiday season, as many Americans attend ugly-sweater parties, scramble to finish last-minute shopping and prepare to ring in the New Year, DigitasLBi is reminding us that 40 percent of Puerto Rico’s population likely won’t be able to do any of that.
It has been 90 days since Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory and still nearly half of the island is without power. In contrast, DigitasLBi points out in a PSA launched today, thousands of offices and homes in other parts of the U.S. will keep their lights on throughout the holiday season “even when they’re not in use.”
Through an effort called “Go Dark. Give Light.”, the Publicis Group agency, recently reclassified as a media organization, is calling on others to turn off their unused lights in solidarity with Puerto Rico.
In the above video, DigitasLBi explains its decision to turn the power off at all of its main U.S. offices for the last week in 2017 and implores every American and company, if they’re able, to do the same. The agency will use the money it saves from this initiative to donate to Puerto Rico.
DigitasLBi estimates it costs 12 cents per hour to run a 60-watt lightbulb. The agency says the average household has 40.
For its effort, the agency will be sharing the video across social media and also set up a “Light Up Puerto Rico” fund for supporters to donate to.
Officials in the territory have described the devastation there as “apocalyptic”, with many criticizing the U.S. government for not providing the necessary aid to help. While the Puerto Rican Department of Public Safety has claimed the official death toll is 64, The New York Times has found evidence the number is closer to 1,000.