VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Many people from Hampton Roads have helped hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico since the storms hit.
There’s a group of women in Virginia Beach that are currently delivering supplies to people on the island. They don’t have a personal connection to the island, they just knew they wanted to help.
On their first trip, they took down eight crates filled with supplies. They returned from that trip early Sunday morning.
On Monday, the majority of the group returned with 16 crates filled with items. There are currently items piled up inside of Lynnhaven Diving Company in Virginia Beach. But employees say it’s just a tenth of what’s been inside recently.
“The past couple of days, I’ve seen ladies with very little sleep gathering, collecting, transporting supplies,” said Lynnhaven Diving Company employee LeaAnne Gracia. “I’ve seen members from the community bringing items in.”
The diving shop has become the drop-off site for donations that women have been taking down to Puerto Rico, many of the women met through diving.
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“Instead of just sitting at home and thinking “wow this is so terrible what can we do?” like we’re actually stepping forward, and we’re actually helping out and we’re actually doing something about it,” said Tinsley Sarrett, who went on the first trip with the group and works at Lynnhaven Diving Company. She’s a high school senior and traveled to Puerto Rico with her mom, who is currently away on the second trip.
She says what they saw there was upsetting.
“Just looking down on one of the buildings below us, there was just so much debris on it,” Sarrett said. “The building across from it had this tree just collapse into the building. It was terrible.”
They didn’t know anyone in Puerto Rico, at least before this trip. The resilient Puerto Ricans clearly made an impact.
“They had nothing,” said Sarrett. “He was like my family has nothing, we have nothing, but we’re okay. Everything is okay.”
For the next few days, the group down there will distribute everything they have.
“These ladies are really inspiring,” said Gracia.
Their next trip is planned for Friday, so you can still drop off donations at the Lynnhaven Dive Company.
Some of the supplies they need include zip-lock bags, light bulbs, sanitary napkins, instant coffee, battery fans, solar chargers, solar lights, batteries, garbage bags, long neck funnels, gas, extension cords, multi plugs, lanterns, portable gas stove, bath soap, wipes, hand sanitizer, dog food, and toothpaste.