LEHI, Utah – Utahns are stepping in to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria by launching a donation drive.
Carlos Nunez hasn’t slept much since Maria struck the U.S. territory a week ago. He’s been trying to get his mother off the island, where most of the 3.4 million residents are without power, food and water are hard to come by, and communication is limited.
Tuesday night his prayers were answered. An Idaho company delivering supplies to Puerto Rico was able to bring her home.
“She just says there are two days in her life, that if there are two days in her life that she could erase, there’s one that is the loss of our brother, and this would be the second one,” Nunez said.
Nunez wants to help those who remain on the devastated island. With help from several Puerto Ricans living in Utah, including Jeffrey Mendez, who is the VP of Sales for Vivint Smart Home, he’s launched a Hurricane Maria Relief Drive.
“When you see the video, when you see the news outlets show what’s happening on the island, it’s apocalyptic,” Mendez said.
They’re asking people to drop off much needed items such as water, food, diapers, and generators at the Vivint Offices in Lehi and Provo.
Vivint will pay for the cost of flying the supplies to Puerto Rico.
“If people don’t get drinking water, if people don’t get the food that they need, they’re done,” Mendez said.
Dorany Rodriguez-Baltazar is also helping in the efforts. Her family was trapped in their San Juan home after Maria.
“Last Friday, they were finally able to call me," she said. "They had to drive an hour and a half to find a signal. They said it was horrifying what they went through.”
Days after the hurricane, her Uncle Hector passed away. She’s afraid more lives will be lost if resources don’t come soon.
“They’re our brothers and sisters and they need help and I’m just pleading for your support.”
The flyer embedded below includes a list of suggested donation items as well as drop off locations: