Angelo Ortiz and Irvin Maldonado cannot say “thank you” enough.
Last week, WKYC Channel 3 News shared the story of how the local Latino community was struggling to get nearly 500 pallets of relief supplies to Puerto Rico. It weighed roughly 500,000 pounds and was sitting inside the I-X Center.
The community never lost hope.
“We knew that God would provide for us. And the moral of the story is that God did provide for us,” Maldonado said.
On Monday, the men will announce a partnership with Feeding America to get everything shipped to Puerto Rico free of charge.
They plan to then gather the items on the island about a week from now to distribute them.
“We want to be there personally. We want to climb the hills and see families that don’t have anything…and say, ‘look we did it’” Maldonado said.
“It’s about getting it to the people that can’t get it there, you know? said Angelo Ortiz.
When Channel 3 first aired the story, the men said they received dozens of offers for help from artists, corporations and even baseball players. Calls came from as far as Las Vegas.
But they felt this one was right and it may just be the beginning, as they continue to help nearly 50 displaced families from Puerto Rico now living in Northeast Ohio.
“If it takes us nine, ten years it’s only nine, ten years,” Ortiz said. “We have plenty of time.”
They also have one more request: plane tickets to Puerto Rico. They say they would like to fly six to eight people there on a commercial plane to help distribute the goods.