Western Mass residents fight to save family in Puerto Rico - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Western Mass residents fight to save family in Puerto Rico

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Resources have thinned out across the island, but FEMA is making a push to expand aid distribution.

Western Massachusetts residents with ties to the Puerto Rico are pushing to bring their families to our area.

Western Mass News spoke exclusively to a Holyoke woman who is fighting to save her family and her island.

Jossie Valentin spent days stewing with fear after hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico.

“My father is 81 years old, he is diabetic, he does not have electricity, he does not have water.”

After eight sleepless nights, she finally got word that her father was okay.

Her story is like many others who feared the worst after the island took a direct hit from Maria.

“The island or Puerto Rico has 3.5 million US citizens. These are folks that need us on all levels. We need to keep pushing, we need to keep making sure the stories are out there.”

Valentin directed her fears into action.

She joined up with the Western Mass United for Puerto Rico Coalition.

They collected food, water, and other essentials to send to the island.

“We started our day going to Bradley International Airport. We were able to send 200 boxes from western Mass.

Spirit Airlines agreed to bring those donations to the people of Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump and our First Lady arrived on the island just before noon.

And while FEMA has expanded their efforts, there is still a great need in Puerto Rico.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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