Cincinnati for PR: Local relief effort still going strong for Puerto Rico
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It's been four months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and one local relief effort is still going strong.
“Cincinnati for PR” is the brainchild of two determined local Puerto Rican women who continue to raise money and awareness for the long haul.
Last September, there was a sense of urgency just days after Hurricane Maria hit and people stepped up when Cincinnati for PR asked for help.
“It's amazing… I want to cry… It's amazing,” said Anamar Naish.
In just 10 days, organizers Anamar Naish and Adrianna Garcia collected 122,000 pounds of necessities.
The work has continued and just last week, Naish had the first chance to fly home to San Juan. She had not seen her family since last April.
“As soon as you land at the airport… buildings around you… you can see them from the window of your sear… are destroyed,” said Naish. “I'm used to landing and everything looking beautiful, so that's the first thing. Actually, on the air, you see all the FEMA blue tarps on all the ceilings of all the houses which is pretty impressive.”
After that first boatload of supplies, followed by a cargo plane with $100,000 worth of supplies for a children's hospital, Cincinnati for PR is entering the third phase. They're not big enough to fix the power grid, so Naish's trip was all about reaching individuals.
“Cincinnati for PR can focusing on delivering immediate relief to families. For example, what we did this last weekend of giving those two elderly teachers of 30-plus years in the education system, new mattresses,” said Naish.
They'd been sleeping on Army cots since September. Now they have beds. That’s all thanks to the good people of Cincinnati.
Naish says the devastation is still overwhelming and people in the rural areas are still without power and clean water, but she said the amazing thing is their spirit. She said her friends were laughing and joking and finding a way to share a good meal, even without power.
If you'd like to help, Cincinnati for PR is still taking donations.
You can reach them on their Facebook page or by email at CincinnatiForPR@Gmail.com
Naish says 100% of the donations go to relief.