Bethenny Frankel has been a beacon of hope for Puerto Rico. Since the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria in September, the Real Housewives of New York City star has been chartering planes for victims and donating countless relief supplies.
“People are starving, actually starving. They have no water. People are suffering,” Frankel, 46, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “It’s not sensationalized. It’s not OK. It’s a war zone. It’s like Slumdog Millionaire. It’s beyond poverty.”
The Bravo star has witnessed the devastation firsthand during her many trips to the U.S. territory. “I’ve seen people living in mud. Their car is encrusted with mud,” she tells Us. “They have no water to clean their house. They’re washing their baby clothes in their street water. They’re staying on the roof waiting for help.”
So far, Frankel and her team have raised more than $15 million for planes and donations. “They work 24 hours a day, saving babies, saving people’s lives,” she boasts of her heroic helpers, which include Maria Menounos, Michael Capponi, Bobby Rodrigo, Omar Rosario, Eve Green, Saira Rivas, Nicole Castrillo, Jill J, Margie Arbizo and members of the nonprofits Global Empowerment Mission and Guardians of Rescue.
The group banded together to deliver supplies including water, canned goods, pet supplies, diapers, baby formula, medical supplies, insulin and furniture to those affected by the devastating hurricane. “Once you know how many people are dying and you’re seeing this, what am I going to do? Go to sleep? I can’t un-know what I know now,” the Skinnygirl creator tells Us. “I haven’t been sleeping.”
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