POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lakeland woman says parts of Puerto Rico now feels like a ghost town while others resemble a refugee camp as earthquakes have rattled the island for over a month.
“People are afraid to be inside their own houses. A lot of people in tents. They’d rather be outside of their house than inside,” said Dory Rodriguez Joseph, who grew up in Puerto Rico.
Almost all of her family still lives there.
“You can feel that anxiety of people. That they don’t know what’s going to happen next,” she said.
Rodriguez Joseph was there in early January when the 6.4 magnitude hit.
“It definitely woke us up and just running and grabbing my 6-year-old and ran outside of my house,” she remembered.
Rodriguez Joseph, who is well connected in the church community in Puerto Rico, has been on a mission to help.
Through her organization ‘Mission of Love for Puerto Rico’ and Polk County-based ‘BandAid for Puerto Rico,’ this week she provided Home Depot gift cards to a single grandmother in need.
The woman, named Carmen, had a crack in her roof caused by the earthquakes’ vibrations.
With the money raised, work began this week on resealing and powerwashing her roof and retiling her bathroom.
“We provide the materials and other missionaries and people that go there do the labor for free,” she said.
A multi-billion emergency aid package for Puerto Rico passed in the U.S. House this month but is unlikely to move forward in the Senate.
President Donald Trump threatened to veto it due to corruption concerns.
If you would like to donate to Mission of Love for Puerto Rico, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/mission-of-love-for-puerto-rico
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