Metro organizations pitch in to help with hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Relaxed shipping rules for Puerto Rico to help recovery efforts from hurricane Maria appear to be working. Metro volunteers are jumping into action to get desperately needed supplies to the ravaged island.

“I just can`t believe that even though we`re U.S. citizens, we`re not treated as such, and the relief is not getting to Puerto Rico as fast as we would hope,” said Marilyn Castillo de Hernandez, who is from Puerto Rico and collecting donations for the island.

“We feel helpless, we feel sad, we feel angry,” said Francelyn Devarie who is also from Puerto Rico and collecting donations.

Metro residents from Puerto Rico say they still have family and friends back on the island, and they're trying to get them help.

“Now don`t get me wrong, the relief is getting there, it`s just not to the entire island, and not as fast as it should have been, I mean this happened over a week ago, and it`s just now that the Jones Act was finally lifted,” added Castillo de Hernandez.

The White House authorized the Jones Act be waived for Puerto Rico -- the shipping waiver will be in effect for 10 days and will cover all products being sent to Puerto Rico.

Devarie created a Facebook page called Los Boriwarriors to get the word out about donations to help the people who were affected by Hurricane Maria.

They are also working with other groups like the Puerto Rico Greater Kansas City Society, and a larger group out of Texas to get a trailer filled with donations to send to Puerto Rico.

“I just was speaking to my mom this morning, and she wanted me to let you guys know, and the United States know there is a shortage of supplies when it comes to gas and food in supermarkets,” Castillo de Hernandez said. “So of course, the concern is, what`s going to happen when all that runs out? Especially if there are no shipments coming in.”

Village Presbyterian Church in Overland Park is also collecting clean-up supplies through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).

“Making sure that they know we care about them and we love them, and are here to be supportive,” said Hallie Hottle, the Bridge Site Pastor At Village Presbyterian. “Because we`re part of this global church, when something happens to people we don`t know, they`re still our family, and we need to be responsive if we can.”

You can drop off items at Margie’s Home Interior (Castillo de Hernandez’s store) located at 4305 State Avenue, KCK, 66102. You can also contact them via their Facebook page.

You can also drop off items at Village Presbyterian Church on Antioch, or visit its website.