(BRENTWOOD, NY) – Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez mobilized the community to collect much needed disaster supplies for the people of Puerto Rico following the series of earthquakes that recently struck an island still recovering from the wrath of Hurricane Maria.
Heeding the call for assistance from communities in Puerto Rico traumatized by the recent rash of earthquakes and tremors, local businesses, non-profit organizations, neighborhood activists, elected officials, and residents rallied at the district office of Legislator Gonzalez in Brentwood with emergency supplies.
It was all hands on deck as teams of volunteers collected, sorted, and packaged the myriad of donations that arrived by a steady stream of cars, vans, and trucks. The donations included all of the essentials, such as first aid kits, medicine, tents, tarps, canned food, thousands of bottles of water, batteries, flashlights, personal hygiene items, rope, blankets, and Meals Ready to Eat (MREs).
During the event, residents on the ground in the hardest hit areas of Puerto Rico called into the La Fiesta 98.5 FM radio simulcast to give first-hand accounts of the dire living conditions so many residents were enduring as tremors continue to hamper emergency response and humanitarian efforts. One caller recounted how residents were forced out of the coliseum where they sought shelter following one of the many aftershocks that struck the island in recent days.
“I could not stand idly by as fellow Americans living a few miles from our shores go without water to drink, food to eat, or a roof over their heads. It has been said that adversity does not build character, it reveals it. Such a tremendous outpouring of support reveals the true heart and soul of this community. Today, we are all Puerto Ricans,” said Legislator Gonzalez.
“Neither rain or snow would have stopped the different organizations, community leaders, nor volunteers from dedicating their time and efforts to help those affected by these natural disasters. I thank Legislator Gonzalez for launching Hope in Motion in such short amount of time and applaud everyone’s efforts in making this a successful event, said Candido Crespo, President of Puerto Rican Coalition For A Better Community.
“Loyal Chaplains are happy to help the Puerto Rican community in these difficult times and assisting Legislator Gonzalez’s efforts; this is an opportunity to fulfill our mission of serving others. Puerto Rico we are with you,” said Rose Estrada, General Director of Loyal Chaplains NY.