Hurricane Fiona: Bay Area group collecting donations for Puerto Rico after torrential rain, flooding

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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San Jose's Puerto Rican Civic Club is working to gather donations and supplies to help those impacted by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Puerto Rico is under a state of emergency after Hurricane Fiona knocked out power to the entire island and has also battered the Dominican Republic.

The storm is responsible for catastrophic flooding, with some places getting more than two feet of rain.

RELATED: Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Dominican Republic after knocking out power in Puerto Rico

Much of Puerto Rico is still under flash flood warnings and more than a thousand people are in shelters.

All of this is happening just as many of those areas are still recovering from Hurricane Maria which first hit Puerto Rico five years ago.

Now a South Bay group that worked to provide relief to Puerto Rico then, is hard at work doing it again.

"I never thought that we would be here again," said Maria Acevedo Campbell, president of the Puerto Rican Civic Club in San Jose.

The nonprofit jumped into action five years ago to help people living through the nightmare Hurricane Maria caused.

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"We were able to get boots on the ground faster than most large organizations," Acevedo Campbell reflected, "We helped Ricky Martin with a distribution of thousands of bags of food, we had a great outpouring of love from Santa Clara County, from the Bay Area. Everyone helped and people remember that."

Now the group is hoping to gather and offer the same support, their phones ringing constantly with calls from people suffering in Puerto Rico.

"Right now we're working very closely with an orphanage, their generator went out and they have children from two days old to eight years old," Acevedo said, "We've been working with elderly homes, and we are also working with (an) animal shelter."

The Puerto Rican Civic Club was able to get a $100,000 donation from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors during their Hurricane Maria efforts and they're hoping again to do the same.

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In the meantime, they're also looking to the community for support.

They have a list of the items desperately needed on their website.

"You can mail them straight to Puerto Rico, we have an address," Acevedo Campbell said, "Monetary contributions, that is actually the easiest, fastest way to help because we have boots on the ground, we're able to purchase the goods and deliver them to wherever they need to go."

As the nonprofit and others like it continues its work, Acevedo-Campbell adds that as a Puerto Rican, she hopes that the U.S. and local Puerto Rican Government can work together to bring relief to the island of U.S. citizens who are struggling.

"We deserve a chance," she said, "We are good people, we are American citizens, we make great contributions."

To find out more ways to help, you can click here.

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