Students from Puerto Rico coming to WNY, says Buffalo School District

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Students from Puerto Rico will soon arrive in the Queen City and the Buffalo School District is making sure they have the supplies they need.

From folders to pens and pencils, John Mika has spent the last few days getting backpacks ready for students coming to western New York from Puerto Rico.

“I could not imagine their lives being torn apart, what these kids are facing daily and then to actually come to Buffalo, New York with nothing,” said John Mika, director of the Buffalo non-profit, The Teacher’s Desk.

Mika says the Buffalo School Board president called last week.

“Was wondering if we might be able to help out with children coming in from Puerto Rico. They expect a big influx with the crisis that’s going on over there,” said Mika.

The Buffalo School District is expecting students from the island soon. So Teacher’s Desk volunteers helped pack 100 backpacks full of school supplies in just a matter of days — ready for whenever students arrive.

Mika says it’s not clear how old the children are, so these backpacks have a little something for everyone.

“We thought it’d be nice for every child coming from Puerto Rico to get a little bit of a hug with Olaf and a little bit of a taste of what’s coming this Buffalo winter,” said Mika.

It’s unclear how many students are coming, but Mika hopes with each backpack every child will feel welcomed.

“We are the city of good neighbors that were folks that really care about them because we do,” said Mika.

The Teacher’s Desk is also shipping 500 flashlights to Puerto Rico. Mika says they are in need of batteries for those flashlights. For more information on how to help click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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