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Lorain intensifies efforts to help Puerto Rican hurricane victims

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LORAIN — As Puerto Rico attempts to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, local residents are doing all they can to ease the burden of the clean-up efforts.

Councilman Angel Arroyo, D-6th Ward, spoke at El Centro, a Puerto Rican landmark on Pearl Avenue, as members hosted an annual block party Friday.

“It’s important that we realize how this storm destroyed a community, abroad and locally, and getting them the support they need,” Arroyo said.

But, it came down to logistics before final plans were in place.

Arroyo said use of a semi-truck needed to be secured as well as a ship to move the donated supplies to the island.

“We needed to find a way to get the donations there because they have to be shipped,” Arroyo said Friday.

The National Puerto Rican Parade and Work Force Inc. in New York City will transport items from Lorain County to New York City, where a ship will be on standby. RDF Logistics of Lorain offered to transport supplies raised by local residents free of charge, Arroyo said.

Once the truck arrives in New York City, the donations will be stowed aboard a ship making its way to Puerto Rico, Arroyo said.

Items needed include water, batteries, flashlights, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods and baby/adult diapers.

Donations will be collected noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Puerto Rican Home, 1603 E. 28th St., Lorain, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at Sacred Heart Chapel, 4301 Pearl Ave., also in Lorain.

Arroyo, who has family and friends in Puerto Rico, said that once the storm passed through the island those living there were left to pick up the pieces.

“Not everything is OK,” Arroyo said. “Even after the storm passes, they still have to recover.”

Bridges have been destroyed, vehicles remain under water and homes have been reduced to shambles.

“They truly need our support,” Arroyo said. “We know the community has come through before, so we are asking them to come out one more time and help.”

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @MLinebrinkCT.


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