Columbia, SC (WLTX) People in the Midlands are working to help Puerto Rico.

“You know people in Puerto Rico are having to go and drive to the airport to try and get a cell tower they don’t have any power. People there are really struggling right now and we really need to work together to help them,"

South Carolina State Senator Katrina Shealy explained of the more than 3 million residents on the island.

Shealy is leading a supplies drive.

“Puerto Rico is just as important to the United States as any place else,” Shealy said. “Puerto Rico is not a foreign country. Puerto Rico is a part of the United States.”

Shealy said some people forget the island is a part of the country. She said citizens need to be helping them just like how they helped hurricane survivors in Texas and Florida

The storm has taken lives, damaged homes and left people without power. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years.

“You know the only problem with Puerto Rico is we can't drive a truck there, so we're working now with local state agencies and even private plane owners to be able to get these items to them quickly," the Lexington senator said.

Shealy and her partners are collecting the following:

Bottled water
Personal Hygiene items
Baby diapers
Adult diapers
Baby wipes
Canned food
Cleaning supplies
Baby formula
First aid kits
Rubber gloves
Pet Food
Insect repellant
Trash bags

The items can be dropped off at:

Batesburg-Leesville Fire Station
431 E. Church Street
Leesville, SC 29070

125 Wilson Street
Lexington, SC 29073

St. James Lutheran Church
1358 S. Lake Drive
Lexington, SC 29073

Baker Collision Express
273 Riverchase Way
Lexington SC 29072

If you are interested in being a drop-off location, please contact Shealy at

You can also drop off supplies at La Isla Bonita Restaurant on 1701 Percival Road in Columbia on Saturday from 8 am-5 pm.

They are collecting the following:

bottled water
baby wipes
hand sanitizer
canned foods
dry foods
baby formula
garbage bags
canned milk
pet food
baby and adult pain relief medicine
stomach and diarrhea relief medicine
mosquito repellant
first-aid kits
laundry detergent
dish soap
adult diapers
construction supplies

The South Carolina Hispanic Leadership Council, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Fort Jackson Army Base are partnering for this drive.

For more information on how you can help Puerto Rican relief efforts, please visit:

United for Puerto Rico (an effort led by Puerto Rico's first lady)


UNICEF website

Save the Children (focuses on the needs of families and their children)

Save the Children website

If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross' relief efforts in Puerto Rico, please visit:

The American Red Cross has a search for people who have already registered themselves as safe. Find out more here: