Ascension Parish opens collection site to benefit hurricane victims in Puerto Rico

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The governor is calling on everyone to open their hearts and help the people of Puerto Rico.

Collection sites are opening across the State of Louisiana to help the country hit by back-to-back hurricanes.

The images from Puerto Rico depict a country is distress. The people who live there are homeless and hungry. Things that were once kept stocked on store shelves are no longer within reach. It's why Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa says leaders opened up a warehouse behind the governmental building to start making an impact.

"It just breaks my heart. These kids and they don't have any place to go. They lost everything, and it's just heartbreaking," said Matassa.

Residents who have been through catastrophic flooding say they can't even imagine a situation so dire. It's why George Day says he didn't hesitate when he saw there was a way he could make a difference. "I knew Puerto Rico is in distress, and I knew the shoe could be on the other foot just as easily," said Day.

It's a start, but Ascension Parish Homeland Security Planning and Intelligence Section Chief Michele Rayborn says they have a long way to go. The shelves in the warehouse are bare. The list of things they need is very short. It consists of diapers, formula, bottles, and feminine hygiene products, but the need is very real.

"Just please understand that these people are isolated. They are on an island, so the resources aren't as readily available from their neighbors. Their neighbors are here, but they have an ocean to get across, the Gulf of Mexico," said Rayborn.

Thanks to the Louisiana National Guard (LANG), everything collected will be flown directly to Puerto Rico.

The collection site in Ascension Parish is located at 615 E Worthy St. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except for Sunday. LANG will pick up the items on October 11.

If you would like to volunteer, call the Ascension Parish Homeland Security office at 225-621-8360.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.