PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One month after Puerto Rico was ravaged by Hurricane Maria, recovery from the devastation continues to move at a slow pace.
For years, the World Mission Society Church of God has provided emergency supplies to countries hit by natural disasters.
“This is what we’ve been doing,” Puerto Rican native Hector Colon said. “It wasn’t far-fetched to get involved with what’s going on in Puerto Rico.”
Colon’s parents’ and grandparents’ homes were heavily damaged.
The World Mission Society Church of God in West View is one of 30 locations on the east coast gathering disaster relief supplies to ship to the Puerto Rican people.
“Puerto Rico is still reporting that 85 percent of their country is without power. Many of the operational hospitals are also operating without power. Over 35 percent of the country doesn’t have clean water yet,” Kalin Krause, with the church, said.
“What they need is really essentials: water, medical supplies, hygiene supplies,” Colon said. “The power is really one of the big things that’s devastating them down there. Really, electricity is key, and it’s the one thing they don’t have.”
The supplies will end up in the hands of church members already living on the island.
“We have over 300 members in Puerto Rico in five different locations in our Church that are already out helping their communities,” Krause said. “That’s why we’re gathering supplies, to continue to support them as they support their communities.”
Meanwhile, the church was serving a favorite Puerto Rican dish, hoping to inspire members and the community to give.
“Puerto Rico is far away, but it’s not far away in our hearts,” Colon said.