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Briella TomassettiSep 23, 2017, 12:43 pmSep 23, 2017, 1:04 pm

Groups on LI organize drives to help in relief efforts for Puerto Rico

Teatro Yerbabruja is accepting monetary donations and non-perishable supplies Saturday and Sunday

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Long Islanders are organizing donation drives to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

"We just wanted to try and help out as many people as possible, on top of helping out our family," says Bay Shore resident Paul Lagrandier.

Cars, trunks and bags are packed to the brim with water bottles and canned goods, and it's all being shipped off to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Teatro Yerbabruja, a not-for-profit located in Central Islip, and its founder, Margarita Espada, have deep Puerto Rican roots.

Espada’s whole family rode out the hurricane, but she still hasn't been able to get in touch with anyone except her brother in a brief phone call.

Her family and the crisis the hurricane has left behind are why she's calling for action. She’s bringing people from across the Island together to help out.

"It is what it is, and we need to believe that everything will be fine. We're at least doing what we need to do, which is support and help," says Espada.

Dozens are dead and injured in the wake of the storm. And conditions are so bad that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled by plane to Puerto Rico, personally delivered supplies and helped with relief efforts.

"Governor Rosello didn't have to ask because, in New York, we're family with the Puerto Rican community,” says Cuomo.

Teatro Yerbabruja is accepting monetary donations and non-perishable supplies Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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