JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)
South Mississippians with Puerto Rican roots are gathering donations, and getting the word out about how dire the situation still is on the island for some of their own family members.
Food, water, and necessities are piling up at locations across the Coast, as family members pray for help to arrive soon following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
"They're glad to be alive, there's a lot of devastation there," said Doris Melendez.
She describes the situation as desperate, with many having no access to basic necessities or communication.
"They're waiting for the agencies from the government to receive help. Right now, it doesn't matter if you have money. There's no way to buy supplies," she added.
A week after Maria, half of Puerto Rican banks remain closed, fuel is scarce, and hospitals are struggling to provide care.
"I just hope that everyone can help us, the people living in Puerto Rico. There's devastation everywhere, just help out, even if it's just a single item," said Paola Santiago of Ocean Springs.
Yaritza Garcia is waiting for confirmation from FedEx on when they will be able to deliver donations to the island.
"There's no communication, no electricity, no water. There are many efforts to send supplies, but we do not know how long it will take before our families or any other families get what they need," said Garcia.
Las Americas, Garos Barber Shop, Rovira Team Realty, and Coldwell Banker in Gautier are also accepting donations to be sent to Puerto Rico.