How you can help: South Carolina residents are ready to give to Puerto Rico

How you can help: South Carolina residents are ready to give to Puerto Rico

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Many Puerto Ricans are still in the dark, waiting for aid since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. It's been one week, but South Carolinians are pulling together to help the many in misery there.

The effort to send supplies and volunteers is happening in Columbia where one supply drive continues.

One of Columbia's few Puerto Rican restaurants is heading-up a supply drive. La Isla Bonita is collecting donations for items like bottled water, canned food, diapers, towels, and garbage bags.

Their plan is to send truckloads of these basic necessities to Charlotte, where it will be packed and flown to Puerto Rico. The restaurant's staff have close ties to Puerto Rico, like family and friends awaiting their help.

"We've contacted some family members, and they say they've waited hours- five hours, six hours, just to get three bags of ice, to get a bag of dry food, rice, and beans," Brendaliz Crespo-Gonzalez says.

"It makes me want to help, and it also breaks my heart," she says.

In other parts of the Midlands, retired Army engineers like Jerry Montalvo is trying to raise money to send himself and three others to Puerto Rico to volunteer clearing debris from the roads.

"You know, we've done service, humanitarian service in the military all around the world. And this being my second home, it's like, I'll be damned if I stay here and just sit when I know that we could do so many things," Montalvo says.

The supply drive at La Isla Bonita ends on Saturday at 5 p.m. You can Montalvo's Go Fund Me page here.

Meanwhile, the South Carolina National Guard says they are working out the details on possibly deploying soldiers for relief efforts to Puerto Rico as soon as this weekend.

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