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Hurricane Fiona: San Jose group collects donations for Puerto Rico after catastrophic flooding and torrential rain

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — Puerto Rico is in a state of emergency after Hurricane Fiona knocked out power across the island and also hit the Dominican Republic.

The storm is responsible for catastrophic flooding, with some places receiving more than two feet of rain.

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Much of Puerto Rico is still under flash flood warnings and more than a thousand people are in shelters.

All of this is happening while many of these regions are still recovering from Hurricane Maria which first hit Puerto Rico five years ago.

Now a South Bay group that worked to bring relief to Puerto Rico then, is working hard to do so again.

“I never thought we would be here again,” said Maria Acevedo Campbell, president of the Puerto Rican Civic Club in San Jose.

The non-profit organization stepped in five years ago to help people living through the nightmare caused by Hurricane Maria.

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“We were able to get boots on the ground faster than most large organizations,” said Acevedo Campbell, “We helped Ricky Martin with a distribution of thousands of bags of food, we had a great outpouring of love from Santa Clara County, from the Bay Area. Everyone helped out and people remember that.”

Now the group hopes to come together and offer the same support, their phones ringing constantly with calls from people suffering in Puerto Rico.

“Right now we’re working very closely with an orphanage, their generator has broken down and they have kids from two days old to eight years old,” Acevedo said, “We’ve worked with nursing homes, and we’re working also with (an) animal shelter.”

The Puerto Rican Civic Club was able to secure a $100,000 donation from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors during their Hurricane Maria efforts and they hope to do the same again.

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In the meantime, they are also looking to the community for support.

They have a list of desperately needed items on their website.

“You can send them directly to Puerto Rico, we have an address,” said Acevedo Campbell, “Cash contributions, it’s actually the easiest and fastest way to help because we have boots on the ground, we are able to buy the goods and deliver them where they need to go.”

As the nonprofit and others like her continue their work, Acevedo-Campbell adds that as a Puerto Rican, she hopes the United States and the local Puerto Rican government can work together to bring relief to the island of troubled American citizens.

“We deserve a chance,” she said, “We’re good people, we’re American citizens, we make great contributions.”

To find out more ways to help, you can click here.

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