Lorain residents turn out in droves to help donate items needed in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico

Posted at 4:08 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 17:26:47-04

Truck after truck, car after car with loads of donations are pouring into Lorain’s Sacred Heart Church on Pearl Avenue and the Puerto Rican Home on East 28th Street.

People are dropping off hundreds of cases of bottled water, diapers, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, flash lights and batteries - the cars just keep coming.

RELATED: Puerto Ricans rally in Cleveland to support their island left battered by Hurricane Maria

One in five people in the city of Lorain are Puerto Rican, but Lorain Councilman Angel Arroyo has helped organize other relief efforts, like helping Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

This time the relief effort hits home.

Arroyo has many friends and relatives in Puerto Rico dealing with the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Loved ones he can’t reach, because phone lines and cell phones towers are down.

"When we say it's personal, it's truly personal. I have cousins, aunts and uncles in Puerto Rico, and so it's more important that we unite and we come together and we get our supplies to our families,” Arroyo said.

RELATED: Hurricane Maria is the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in decades

A local group donated a semi truck to take the goods to New York where they’ll be put on a ship bound for the U.S. Territory.

Right now, FEMA says there are 4,000 members of the Army Corps of Engineers restoring power and 1,600 National Guard members.

But Arroyo said the U.S. government can do more.

“We need to bring more support to our island," Arroyo said.

Darrion Jimenez’s dad is driving the supplies to New York.

He also can’t get a hold of loved ones.

"It's a little frustrating, because you know we would like to see how people are doing, how everyone is doing," said Jimenez.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Maria bears down on Puerto Rico

Pete Contreras dropped off boxes filled with canned foods.

"I had to help, help as much as I can. I have a trailer and filled it up with stuff, and we should get them all the help that I can, because I have a lot of family there that I haven't heard from either," Contreras said.

You can drop off donations at Sacred Heart Church between 10 AM to 7 PM through Friday.

There’s also a prayer vigil at Sacred Heart Wednesday night at 7. Donations can also be dropped off at the vigil.