ATLANTA - The devastation in Puerto Rico is being matched by a heaping dose of generosity here in metro Atlanta.
At Buen Provecho Puerto Rican restaurant in Marietta, the focus isn't as much on cooking as it is on collecting.
"The Puerto Rican population, the community from different areas have come together to show their love and support," said restaurant owner Elmer Passapera.
When FOX 5 News stopped by Tuesday afternoon, a number of volunteers were sorting bottled water, canned goods, batteries, diapers, baby formula, and other FEMA approved items to send to their homeland of Puerto Rico, hit hard by Hurricane Maria.
"We've been in contact with organizations that have experience that has reached out and been relief sources. They know what's needed they know the logistics. They know what FEMA will approve and will not approve," said Passapera.
Regina Hernandez delivered a couple of loads, hopeful it helps those in need on the island where food, water, fuel, and electricity are scarce.
She hasn't heard from her two uncles and their families.
"We're going on six days of not knowing. We're crossing our fingers for good news and we're just patiently waiting but our patience is very slim now," said Hernandez.
The collection which is being temporarily kept in storage containers near Chamblee is a collaboration between business owners Raul Thomas, Elmer Parraperras and others reaching back to help Puerto Rico.
Thomas is the owner of Marietta's New Theatre in the Square where the stage is set for collections of goods to be sent by cargo plane and funds for immediate dispersal to help Puerto Rico which may be down but not out.
"We are resilient people. We'll never drop back, we'll never go back. Puerto Rico will rise again. Puerto Rico se levanta," said Thomas.
The group said a cargo plane left Atlanta for Puerto Rico on Tuesday with the first load of canned goods and water.
Passapera said more planes are already being scheduled for the next delivery.
Anyone would like to donate can do so at one of these drop-off locations:
- Marietta's New Theatre In The Square, 11 Whitlock Avenue NW, Marietta, Ga.
- Prep Atlanta, 3300 Marjan Drive, Atlanta, Ga.
- Buen Provecho Restaurant, 2468 Windy Hill Road. Marietta, Ga.
- Porch Light Latin Kitchen, 300 Village Green Cir SE, Smyrna, Ga.
Some of the items needed include:
1. Bottled water (there is no drinking water on the island)
2. Insect repellent (this is critical!!)
3. Ziploc bag with travel-sized toiletries
4. Canned goods (preferably those with a pull top opening)
5. Powdered milk
6. Hand sanitizer
7. Batteries (any size but especially C and D)
8. Baby formula
10. Adult diapers
11. Baby wipes
12. First aid kits
13. Nonprescription medicine (for children and adults)
14. Gently used clothing (no winter clothes please!)
15. Cleaning supplies
16. Feminine hygiene products
17. Duct tape
18. Trash bags
19. Disposable silverware
22. Battery powered fans