MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Thousands of pounds of life-saving aid is headed to the Caribbean Islands that were hit by powerful storms.
A shipments left a Coconut Creek warehouse Monday morning.
The inventory includes generators for electricity, 2-burner stoves, buckets and tarps for those who lost roofs and for the hard work that begins in recovery.
“It’s not only a physical material devastation, it’s also a psychological devastation,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor, an International Relief Organization.
The supplies are earmarked for some places that were virtually wiped out.
Aloma says there is stress involved even trying to go in to give help.
“Our partner in Dominica, we hadn’t heard from since Maria hit, it wasn’t until last Friday we knew she was alive,” he said.
Hurricane Maria is a storm that brought death to Dominica – the very first Island blasted by the category 5 storm.
The first of four giant 40-foot containers were sent out Friday. Now more goods are again headed to Dominica, Antigua and St. Lucia.
Once on the ground, Aloma says they’ll also be distributed to Barbuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Irma first cut power, running water and communication and Maria finished them off.
Aloma says the need is so great, hospital beds and medicine are also a critical part of their inventory.
“Their pharmacies have been destroyed, the buildings have been destroyed, the hospitals have been destroyed so they have none of the medication they need to be able to survive,” said Aloma.
As relief heads to the island after Hurricane Maria, others from Puerto Rico – also hit by the hurricane – are coming to Miami.
Passengers flying into Miami International Airport from Puerto Rico included some elderly, some wheelchair-bound. They say they are heart-broken to leave their home but at the same time, they had no other choice.
“I feel hopeless. I don’t have water. I don’t have electricity. There’s no food. I’m legally bind. I was in crisis and my son went to get me,” said Milagros Bonilla.
She is one of the hundreds of people who flew in to MIA to stay with relatives as the country looks to rebuild.
A number of collection drives are taking place throughout South Florida. American Airlines is holding “Operation Puerto Rico Strong” which allows its employees to send one generator and a box of 150 pounds of supplies free of charge to relatives on the island. American Airlines says Operation Puerto Rico Strong continues through Friday. Those supplies are being flown in on a daily basis.
If you would like to help you can donate to Food For The Poor for donations to the islands visit www.foodforthepoor.org/maria