Local restaurant facing problems after receiving record donations for Puerto Rico

VIRGINIA BEACH Va. (WAVY) — It’s been more than two weeks since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and a local restaurant owners say they are desperately trying to get donations to the island.

10 On Your Side told you about Jose Albino weeks ago. 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.

He and his wife Raquel put out a plea to the community to drop off donations like water, diapers and canned goods to send to Puerto Rico. They planned to fill one 40 foot container and they shipped it last week. However, they received so many donations that they’ve now filled seven containers.

Local restaurant filling up with donations for Puerto Rico

“It’s a blessing, but right now we don’t need donations. We need to get these donations to the people who need them,” said Albino.

“We are dealing with a situation that we didn’t think we would be facing because of the amount of the goodies and the love from the community showed,” said Jaime Rivera who donated some of the containers. “Now, we just need to get the funds to get them to Puerto Rico.”

There are so many containers. Right now, seven massive containers are sitting in the Virginia Beach parking lot of the De Rican Chef and other businesses. The containers are filled to the brim with donations for people who really need them, according to the owners.

“If we leave that here for another two weeks, we waste time, waste money, waste people money because the donations are there and we need to move them out of here,” said Albino.

They are getting quotes from private companies for upwards of $25,000.

Local couple anxiously waiting to hear from family in Puerto Rico

“This is just to ship it, to get it on the boat to Puerto Rico,” said Rivera.

So until someone donates trucks, jets, any other form of transportation they are afraid these donations for people who need them will stay here in this parking lot.

They are looking for monetary donations or a someone who is willing to donate shipping or moving services.You can donate for shipping costs here: https://www.gofundme.com/united-with-puerto-rico