Local drive fills hundreds of boxes to help with Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico

(Eric Halperin, WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Local Puerto Ricans, community members, and community leaders came together to collect monetary donations, food, and supplies to help out with Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico.

Cars full, even trucks full continuously stopped in front of Armando & Son’s Meet Market in Providence all day long to drop off donations.

“Canned goods, water, toiletries, anything that we know is going to help our friends and families in Puerto Rico,” said Maria Rivera, Councilwoman at large in Central Falls.

She is also a member of the Puerto Rican Professional Association of Rhode Island. It helped organize the drive. Most of her family still lives in Puerto Rico and she has not yet been in direct contact with them.

“It’s hard not to know who in my family has lost their home, it’s hard me not being there right now because I wish I was there helping them but I think I’m a better resource from here right now,” she said.

Many of the volunteers that were with her also have not been able to talk with their families. But it’s the overwhelming support of the drive that makes them believe Puerto Rico will make it through.

“I am very much convinced that Puerto Rico will come out of this stronger than ever,” said Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea who grew up in Puerto Rico and still has family there.

It hasn’t been exactly determined how they will get all of the goods and supplies down to Puerto Rico. But they say they’ll figure that out and for now are just happy to see the outpouring of support.

“It’s been very difficult but the amount of support that we’ve received today is something that I can’t even really speak about it,” said Rivera.

In total four trucks were filled with food and supplies. Checks they collected were made out to the Red Cross. According to organizers, nearly $10 thousand dollars was raised.