CLEVELAND - Hurricane Maria's powerful strength left homes destroyed and areas without power for months in Puerto Rico. But one local community is channeling some of that strength into a powerful message of support.
What started as a simple request for donations at Club San Lorenzo (a club in the Clark Fulton neighborhood named after a city in Puerto Rico), has turned into something more than organizers imagined.
“This hits home and we feel the responsibility to do something about that,” said Samuel Rosario, associate pastor of Church Alive International in Brook Park.
Like Rosario, many volunteers at Club San Lorenzo share a direct connection to Puerto Rico. Some residents are still waiting for a response.
“I have family that I haven’t heard from,” said Rosario.
The devastation left from Hurricane Maria left the Clark Fulton community and others to rally together to help those struggling in a place they call home.
“I know what it’s like without water, without light, or anything like that. They’re really going to need it,” said Irvin Maldonado Sr. with the Latin Americans for Athletics, Arts and Academics.
Community organizers immediately jumped into action with a plan to help with local relief efforts.
A simple request for donations turned into a day filled with nearly non-stop car loads dropping off water, diapers and other items for victims of Hurricane Maria. In just about an hour, dozens of drivers quickly emptied their cars
as volunteers began packing and piling the boxes inside the club on W. 33rd Street.
“We’ve made contact with how to get it to Puerto Rico, but now we need truck drivers,” said Maldonado.
Organizers are still searching for a truck to transport the shipment, but in the meantime a community remains
optimistic as the donations continue to roll in.
Donations will be accepted at Club San Lorenzo through Sunday from noon until 8 p.m.
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