WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The devastation following earthquakes in Puerto Rico has left residents there without homes, electricity, water, and other basic necessities.

In western Massachusetts, efforts are underway to send help.

"This is so sad, you know. When I listened to my father's voice...I said 'Oh my gosh,' you know. It's so sad," said Jamari Ramos.

Three days after the 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico, thousands remain without power and running water, with many of their homes destroyed.

In western Massachusetts, Ramos works at the Gandara Center and has family in Puerto Rico, including a one year old granddaughter. She told Western Mass News that after just being there for vacation and coming back to hear the news, she was shocked.

"My father don't answer the phone. My daughter don't answer the phone. My sister don't answer. I start sending text messages," Ramos added.

Ramos' colleague, Alexcelin Saldana, a care coordinator at the center, has an aunt right in the middle of the earthquake stricken area and said the impact is devastating.

"It's more of the aftermath that is now affecting her because she's trying to regroup herself and restore her home...it's also a financial toll on her cause she's by herself," Saldana said.

Ramos said the most difficult part of this is not being able to physically be there to help.

"You don't know the time and I call, 'Hey, what do you need' and you don't have, from this place, to take a car and go and see if everything is okay. Maybe they can tell you, 'Yeah, we're done, we're okay,' but you don't see the real thing, you know?" Ramos said.

With many employees having ties to Puerto Rico, along with others throughout the community, a support mission was launched.

"When we woke up and saw the devastation on the island, we knew we wanted to do something," said Jade Rivera-McFarlin with the Gandara Center.

Items have started to come in at the Gandara Center, but the need is so great in Puerto Rico, organizers said the more donations, the better.

"Definitely water. There's no electricity, so batteries, flashlights, things of that nature, but also just toiletries...baby wipes, hand sanitizer, toiletries, shampoos, soap, conditioner, things like that," Rivera-McFarlin added.

Rivera-McFarlin told Western Mass News they have someone in Puerto Rico giving them the inside scoop on what these families need.

"One of our directors that's on the island currently, who I just emailed this morning. She and her area is just starting to get back some power, some power, so she's researching for me currently the hardest hit areas," Rivera-McFarlin explained.

Rivera-McFarlin said they hope to collect as many items at their West Springfield and Holyoke locations as possible over the next week and a half.

"Anything really can help, so if there's something you have that you can bring by, bring it by. We'd be very grateful for that," Rivera-McFarlin said.

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