Hundreds head to Jacksonville Landing to donate supplies for Puerto Rico

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s been 10 days since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 16 people are dead, 95 percent of the island does not have power and 50 percent of water services have not been restored. 

In the Jacksonville area, people came together at the Jacksonville Landing Sunday to heed San Juan Mayor Carmen YulinCruz’s call and send supplies to the Puerto Rican victims, while the Caribbean island slowly recovers.

Cruz made a plea for help that was heard around the world.

“I am begging anyone who can hear us, to save us from dying,” Cruz said

Cruz’s plea was heard by Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce advisory board President Glenda Torres and Dr. Ismael Rodriguez, with the Puerto Rico Physicians Association of North Florida, who have family on the damaged island.  

“We watch the news. We watch the livestreams, and it’s something that (makes us) feel disabled because we can’t be there to help,” Torres said. 

“We all have family (there),” Rodriquez said. “We call them and it’s very sad for the country.”
Hundreds of people braved the nor’easter rolling through the area, taking time to help Puerto Rico. The event began at 11 a.m. Sunday morning and immediately started growing.

“With everything going on, we just wanted to help out,” Nicole Liu said. “We contacted our neighbors and friends, and everyone was so generous. We are really grateful.”

As each car passed, the donations grew. Row by row, boxes were stacked with supplies to help families recover.  

Inside, the halls of the Jacksonville Landing were lined with donations that came in seemingly every second. 

“We did expect a lot, and we thought we had enough to capture everything, but it’s more than we could’ve ever imagined,” Torres said. 

The donations were sorted, packed and taken to a truck to be shipped with love and hope that the donations will bring comfort to the Puerto Rican victims. 

The donations will be taken to Aqua Gulf, which will deliver everything to Puerto Rico. 

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