Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The crisis in Puerto Rico is not just impacting those on the island, but the millions of relatives and descendants of the islands who live on the mainland of the U.S.
As you know, Hurricane Maria tore through the island this islands, leaving a still unknown number dead, nearly the entire island without power, and making it hard to get basic, life-sustaining necessities, such as food and water, to the residents who desperately need it.
Many living in the United States, including here in the Midlands, can't get in touch with their relatives. Deputy Mark Laureano of the Richland County Sheriff's Department, for example, whose relatives are from the island, put it this way," 'I've got nieces and nephews, I don't know if they're alive or dead. I can't get a hold of a sister-in-law."
We need your help. The call now to everyone is "Yo Soy Puerto Rico" ---"I'm Puerto Rico." For in this moment, we are indeed all Puerto Rico.
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):
Save the Children: (focuses on the needs of families and their children)
American Red Cross
If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross' relief efforts in Puerto Rico, please visit: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation or text 'MARIA' to 90999.
The American Red Cross has a search for people who have already registered themselves as safe. Find out more here: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/