Light a Candle For Puerto Rico

(This article first appeared in the October 11, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)

 

Social media is a powerful way to spread a message. It’s also a way to connect with like-minded individuals. Follow a page, like a post, message a company. This concept is exactly how I came across the latest altruistic endeavor from local company Hamptons Hand Poured.

Scented candles takes on a whole new fragrance when these 100 percent handcrafted soy jars are familiarly labeled. Hamptons Coffee, Sag Harbor Cinema, The End, Tumbleweed Tuesday, the names dedicated to the East End go on. Then an Instagram post showed the latest scent, Coastal Evacuation Route – a $28 sea salt blend with notes of citrus and violet with all of the proceeds going directly to the relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

“That it was going to take four to six months to fully restore power [in Puerto Rico] was shocking to me,” Hamptons Hand Poured owner Brittany Torres expressed.

“On the first day I posted the candle, we raised just under $300. For a small business with little marketing and a product under $30, I think that’s not bad. My ultimate goal would be to send at least $1000 a month for as long as I can.”

Ties to the island run in Torres’s blood. Her grandparents lived in Dorado and she recalls memories from her visits as a child – even recreating a photo taken in Old San Juan. She also makes annual visits to the popular beach town, Rincon, where family and friends reside. Sadly, amid all the disaster, there has been no word from anyone.

Currently, Hamptons Hand Poured is undergoing this philanthropic effort singlehandedly, but remains open to collaboration. “I have tagged people on Instagram who are heavily involved in the efforts in hopes of getting a bigger audience. I would love to have more of my retail partners carry the candle. They would have to be willing to not make a profit on the product or at the least only take a small percentage of the sale so we can donate the most we can for Puerto Rico,” Torres detailed.

As time goes on smoothly for the fortunate, it’s important to keep in mind the millions of residents who have been affected by this record-breaking hurricane season. It’s through the efforts of the few that the many can benefit – and, in this case, simply survive.

Hamptons Hand Poured and the Coastal Evacuation Route candle can be purchased on the Etsy shop through http://www.hamptonshandpoured.com or through Jason Lucas, owner of Sag Harbor Cycle at 34 Bay Street.

Follow Torres on Instagram @HamptonsHandPoured.

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