Puerto Rico native helps with donations for flood victims

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Hurricane Maria first caused damage to Puerto Rico earlier this month to the already fragile island.

The situation continues to get worse as basic supplies are becoming scarce.

For Pitt County EMS Medical Director Roberto Portela, he’s doing all he can to help get the island back on his feet.

“It’s hard, I was living in Puerto Rico basically four years ago,” said Portela.

Dr. Roberto Portela said seeing the images and videos of his native country is difficult.

“I feel like my hands are tied, and I feel bad,” he said.

Emotions continue to run high for Portela after several attempts to contact his family, including his stepson.

“Just trying to communicate with people it’s almost impossible,” said Portela. “I haven’t been able to communicate with him.”

Despite the failed attempts, he decided he wanted to help those in Puerto Rico. Not only did Portela’s wife help with donations but his coworkers too.

Lisa Pennypacker works with Dr. Portela and jumped at the opportunity to help.

“Seeing the devastation from the Hurricanes that have hit, we wanted to help out,” said Pennypacker.

Portella is asking the community to help those suffering.

“What I hope is that we see a rebuild island, and that we see can prosper,” said Portela.

Drop-off location:

East Carolina University (ECU) – EMS Division
1840 O Hagan Pl, Greenville, NC 27834

Drop-off dates:

September 27th 8am-1pm.
Thursday Sep 28th: 8am-1pm
Friday Sep 29th: 8am – 1pm
Monday Oct 2nd – 6th: 8am – 1pm

North Carolina for Puerto Rico Email: Puerto.Rico.help.Eastern.NC@gmail.com

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