Locals gain support of hundreds for Puerto Rico relief efforts

Anamar Naish and Adrianne Garcia both tossed around ideas about how they could do something for the people in Puerto Rico and decided to gather supplies (WKRC)

CINCINNATI, OH. (WKRC) – Just days after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico killing at least 10 people, images of destruction have surfaced. Millions of people are without power, access to cell phone service, clean water, food, and gasoline. Here in Cincinnati, the Puerto Rican community is trying to help. While some have been in touch with relatives, others are still waiting for that confirmation of safety.

“I’ve gotten word that my family is ok but there are people here who have not gotten that information and that is heartbreaking. But hopefully, we pray they are ok,” said Anamar Naish.

Naish and Adrianna Lebron-Garcia both tossed around ideas about how they could do something for the people in Puerto Rico and decided to gather supplies.

Sunday, it’s evident they are not alone in that sentiment after taking the case to Facebook, creating the page Cincinnati for PR. They have the support of local business and hundreds of people who showed up at the Streetside Brewery to organize relief efforts and drop off items of great need to people on the island.

“It’s not only Puerto Ricans, everybody wants to help. There are a lot of natural disasters that have happened. We are very empathetic with our brothers and sisters in Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica too, that have been hit by major hurricanes in the last two weeks. We are overwhelmed and coming together and we will rise up,” said Naish.

The Founder of Streetside Brewery, Cathie Hickey and Tin Man Grill Food Truck owner Nicolle Searcy are two of the business leading the charge. The restaurant and food truck are donation sites.

“We are incredibly overwhelmed right now, this is amazing,” said Searcy. “More businesses need to get involved. Our food truck is a mobile donation center.”

Hickey echoes that thought.

“It’s amazing, I want to cry, it’s just amazing,” said Hickey. “We are really happy about this and you know this was just a couple of ladies who got together and let’s have a meeting.”

At this meeting the signup sheets to become donation centers and ideas to help were full. They’re just getting started, but this a movement that’s gaining speed and support.

Check the Facebook pages for updates on donation locations and needs or email directly with questions.

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