Local restaurant filling up with donations for Puerto Rico

(Photo courtesy of Laura Caso/WAVY)

VIRGINIA BEACH Va. (WAVY) — It’s been five days since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and a local restaurant owner still has not heard from his mother who lives there.

10 On Your Side told you about Jose Albino last week. Albino is part-owner of De Rican Chef in Virginia Beach. He says the community is helping him to stay positive and hopeful with the outpouring of support in the form of donations.

“I talk to her three times a day, every day, no matter what,” said Albino.

However, that communication between mother and son came to a quick halt when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico last week

“I can’t sleep, and can’t eat,” said Albino. “Here, my people, they are the ones that are helping me to breath because if I go home, I’m done. So I have to be here to see this. This is, I think it’s for my mom.”

Albino is talking about the donations and lots of them are filling up the back room and spilling into the seating area at his Virginia Beach restaurant.

Albino says people come in, they eat and they donate. From food, to water, clothes and even a 40 foot container donated by President of Smith and Keene Electric, Gary Smith.

“Knowing that I’ve been to these places over the years and knowing what it looked like then and what it looked like now, its unbelievable,” said Smith. “I donated the container and I don’t expect to see it again. If it does come back here we should fill it up again and send it.”

On October 6th, the De Rican Chef is hosting a benefit concert to raise money to ship the container.

You can continue to donate to the restaurant: 3208 Holland Road Suite 105, Virginia Beach, VA 23453 during normal business hours.