Miami’s Puerto Rican Community Gathers In Wynwood To Plan Help For Island

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Members of Miami’s Puerto Rican community got together in Wynwood to find out how to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.

“We need help. 3.5 million Americans on the island of Puerto Rico need our help. We’re looking for batteries, baby food, pampers, baby clothes,” said organizer Luis De Rosa.

A number of organizations, including the Puerto Rican Leadership Council and the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, are setting up donation sites throughout South Florida.

Organizers are hoping everyone in attendance helps with the logistics so that supplies get to those affected as soon as the island can start letting help in.

“Once we get the green light from the government of Puerto Rico, as to the port and the airport if it’s open, that’s the next step. We’re already working with the logistics of getting the merchandise from the site that are going to be receiving the donations to the airport or to the port,” said De Rosa.

Reach Out America, a nonprofit organization based in Texas, is working to collect donations at a 150,000 square foot facility at Mana Wynwood at 2217 NW 5th Ave.

”We’ve got a lot of provisions on site. We’re needing more obviously. None of us could have anticipated what is happening in Puerto Rico,” said David Elms with Reach Out America.

While so many have not been able to get a hold of family members because communications systems are down, those in attendance at the meeting are leaning on each other as they work together to help their beloved island.

“Most of us don’t even know each other that live here in Miami or this whole Florida area where we can really come together and do something meaningful in an organized way,” said Daniel Torres, who attended the meeting.

Isla Del Encanto Restaurant is also taking in donations Friday from noon to 10 p.m.  It’s located at 12850 SW 120th Street in Miami.

For more information, contact Luis De Rosa at ldr@puertoricanchamber.com.

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