Central FL donating supplies to Puerto Rico ahead of Maria

20,000 pounds of supplies collected through First Baptist Church of Orlando

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - While much of Central Florida is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma, hundreds in the community are coming together in support of Puerto Rico, which faces a possible landfall from Hurricane Maria.

Over the weekend, more than 20,000 pounds of supplies were collected through donations made outside First Baptist Church of Orlando, organizers said.

A 43-foot trailer was filled on Sunday with water, food, toiletries and other essentials, which will be shipped to the island and donated through "Unidos Por Puerto Rico."

"Even though we still here in Orange County have almost 40,000 without power, we still know how to come together and help those in need in a time of crisis," organizer Peter Vivaldi said.

Like much of Florida, Puerto Rico also felt the effects of Hurricane Irma.  Many on the island are still without power, but also days away from impact from Hurricane Maria.

"If that water comes in through there all the way to the northwest corner, at least what's projected, it could be devastating," Vivaldi said.

The supplies are scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico when the port reopens after the storm hits, but more supplies may be needed once the damaged is assessed.

"As soon as we receive information from the governor of Puerto Rico of what their first needs are, we're going to respond," Vivaldi said.  

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