HOPE for North Port is working on a Suncoast relief effort for Puerto Rico
NORTH PORT - Puerto Rican earthquakes leave the island with more than a hundred million dollars in damages.
Earthquakes take a toll on buildings and communities. Residents are facing these grim conditions. Some, losing hope according to North Port minister, Arquelio Ruiz.
"One of the biggest problems that we have is mental health," said Arquelio Ruiz. "Because, people are afraid, people don’t want to go inside houses.”
Much of Puerto Rico has experienced power outages and has left some without a home.
Ruiz's father-in-law- felt the effects first hand.
"It was shaking so bad that he fell, and he broke his forehead and his neck," said Ruiz. "Right now, he is in a coma in San Juan.”
So, HOPE for North Port is collaborating with their Spanish campus, Iglesia de Nueva Esperanza to help those in need.
"We want to bring items, but also we want to bring mental health, that’s what we’re working on right now," said Ruiz.
They plan to go to Puerto Rico to help with crisis management as well.
"It’s really now, not just getting the items there and getting them out," said Executive Director of HOPE for North Port, Steve Leclerc. "But its actually coming and doing crisis management, the mental health, the counseling aspect; making sure people are walking through the trauma that they’re experiencing.”
Hope for North Port is planning on filling a container with items to specifically help the children and elderly. So, diapers, toiletries, wipes, and more (full list below).
"There are people in need, and they’re not too far from us," said Leclerc. "And, if you look to your left, to your right in this area, there are people who know people who have family within that community that need our help. So, whether it’s a dollar, or it’s diapers, you can help any way you can.”
They will be accepting donations up until Saturday, January 25th.
The list of items they are requesting are below:
- Diapers for children
- Diapers for seniors
- Baby wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hygiene items (toothpaste, soap, etc.)
- New blankets (Must be NEW)
- Lysol wipes
- Disposable washcloths
- Air mattresses
- Coloring books
- Stuffed animals