Sending Help to Beloved Island Home

Puerto Rico natives hold supply drive in Poconos

TANNERSVILLE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- Families without food and necessary resources to get by. That's the struggle in Puerto Rico Saturday night ten days after Hurricane Maria caused devastation. Two local families are doing their best to help their beloved island.

The two families proves they'll go the distance when it comes to taking care of loved ones.
They're holding a donation drive. In the span of just one week, they've taken in more donations than they could ever ask for.

"It's like a bomb hit it. It's bad. It's really bad." It's heartbreaking for Oscar Martinez to see what's happened to his native Puerto Rico. "It's painful. It's painful. I mean I was there not too long ago and to see total destruction now... it's painful."

Besides running the Tannersville-based Puerto Rican restaurant, El Rincon Caribe, Mr. Martinez, his family and friends are busy on the other half of the building collecting supplies.  Jose Maldonado, a friend of Mr. Martinez, said "We're taking water, dry food, diapers, wipes, medical supplies. Anything, even clothes." 

Like Mr. Martinez, Mr. Maldonado still has family and friends who live in Puerto Rico. "All my family members, they all lost everything in their houses. They don't have nothing." 

Mr. Maldonado says even the most simple things many of us take for granted are a struggle in their home island. "My mother-in-law on Wednesday was waiting for seven hours in line and she didn't even get fuel." 

After starting this supply drive last weekend, items have been coming in... in full force. Mr. Martinez said, "I'm happy with the response that we're getting from the neighbors and the people here in the Poconos. It's amazing."

Because the hurricane damage took a toll on phone service, they can't contact many of their loved ones. But if there's one message they could send, it is this: help is on the way. Mr. Maldonado said, "It hurts me a lot to see them going through what they're going through right now and that's why we're doing this. It's the right thing to do." Mr. Martinez added, "That's the way it should be everybody comes together to help human beings. That's what we are and that's what it's all about." 

The Martinez and Maldonado families will continue to take donations for the next couple of weeks. Then they plan on flying to Puerto Rico themselves to personally distribute the items and show that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

If you can't make it to El Rincon Caribe, you can still help by making a donation to benefit those hard hit in Puerto Rico by logging onto everybodyeatsfoundation.org
 


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