Donation drive for Puerto Rico to be a celebration of unity

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Latino community center in Harrisburg is organizing a donation drive for those devastated in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Latino Hispanic American Community Center (LHACC) will collect basic need items that Puerto Ricans living on the island are without.

The majority of the more than three million people living in the U.S. territory have been without water or power since Hurricane Maria hit last Wednesday.

Local families are still struggling to communicate with loved ones on the island.

“We are now taking the next step from trying to locate people to now what can we do to help everyone,” said Gloria Vazquez Merrick, LHACC director.

Vazquez is calling Saturday’s event, which will feature live music and food, a celebration of unity in giving.

“We are celebrating our unity in coming together to help all of the victims,” said Vazquez. “I call them victims, but they are survivors.”

Big companies like Pepsi and Comcast are also expected to make donations. EMD Sales, a company that distributes common Latin foods like Goya, has agreed to transport donations collected at no cost.

Saturday’s event will take place outside LHACC, which is located at 1301 Derry Street in Harrisburg.

Suggested donation items include alkaline batteries, flashlights or lanterns, red gas containers, toothpaste and toothbrushes, cuts, can openers, ibuprofen and aspirin, water, first aid kits, canned goods, feminine products and diapers.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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