Local help on way to assist hurricane victims

MIAMI LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, local residents and several organizations are working to help Puerto Rico and other islands recover from the damage they sustained.

Volunteers and residents have either donated or given up their time to show Puerto Rico love and support during this hard time.

“Now is the time to help Puerto Rico,” said Dr. Ramon Garcia with Ana G. Mendez University System.

The Ana G. Mendez University System’s South Florida campus has collected donations throughout the day, Friday. “The situation in Puerto Rico is very serious,” Garcia said. “It’s very serious, no electricity, no water.”

Several organizations have banned together in Miami Lakes and are encouraging the community to get involved.

In Coconut Creek, food for the victims was loaded up into four 40-foot big rigs with emergency aid that will make its way to Dominica.

“Dominica is going to be months before they get that back,” said president of Food for the Poor, Robin Mahfood, “so they need a hand. They need a helping hand.”

Help is also on its way to Puerto Rico. “I am going with generators, food, water because on the island, [you don’t] have anything,” said one man.

American Airlines has resumed partial operations to San Juan, including four round-trip flights to and from Miami. The planes will be carrying supplies and people who are ready to help the island.

The Coast Guard also loaded up supplies in Miami and is now heading to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Aria Development Group, Coastal Construction and other South Florida businesses also came together to help those affected by Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean.

“We’ll be driving down this morning, with stops in Key Largo and Marathon,” said David Arditi of the Aria Development Group. “We have the privilege of having the time and availability to do so. Took a little energy, a little creativity and for us, it was just a no brainer.”

For those caught in the path of the destructive hurricanes, the needs are great. “It’s important for us to help out, and that’s our message,” said Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Sid. Now is the time to help out Puerto Rico and all of our brothers and sisters out there.”

This effort has plenty of water, but they now need food, medicine baby products. You can donate at the Ana G. Mendez University System’s South Florida campus Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you want to help the victims of Irma, click here. if you want to help the victims of Maria, click here.

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