Va. Beach restaurants collect items to help aid Puerto Rico

There are still concerns the U.S. isn't doing enough to help Puerto Rico, which is an American territory. The concerns have some people asking the government to step up.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Last week, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico leaving the island on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. About 80% of crop value destroyed, 60% of the island without water and almost the entire island without power.

Last Friday DeRican Restaurant Chef restaurant owner, Raquel Rivera-Bonilla decided to start collecting items to help get relief items to Puerto Rico. By Wednesday Rivera-Bonilla said she was surprised by how much the community donated.

"A lot of people are donating, donating and it's overwhelming. It's nice because at this moment we are together and at least contributing a little bit to put something on the island," Rivera-Bonilla.

It's been a week since Hurricane Maria ripped through the island leaving behind severe damage. Puerto Rico is expected to be without power for months. Some people on the island have no medicine, food or water.

Senator Tim Kaine told 13News Now  that Congress needs make sure help reaches the entire island, quickly.

"I am very worried in Congress that there doesn't seem to be the same sense of urgency about providing sufficient aid to Puerto Rico. It would be very unfair for us to treat these American citizens as second class when it comes to providing aid," said Kaine.

Along with DeRican Chef, El Rincon Tropical restaurant in Virginia Beach is joining the efforts to get relief items to Puerto Rico. A 44 ft. shipping container sits in the parking lot of DeRican Chef restaurant. Those collecting items like canned goods, baby items and water hope to ship it off to the island. El Rincon Tropical's owner, Christine Matos said the community's support is touching.

"It's touched my heart, it really has to see all of the contributions that we've received so at this point we need more support. We need to get financial support to get these containers sent out," said Matos.

The two restaurants are joining together to host a fundraiser. They need to raise enough money to send several shipping containers with supplies to Puerto Rico. The fundraiser is Saturday 9/30/17 at DeRican Chef at 3208 Holland Rd. Virginia Beach, Va. 

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