NewsRegion S Palm Beach CountyBoynton Beach


Community collects donations for Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

Posted at 6:41 PM, Oct 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-09 05:38:15-04

United Way volunteers and the community have come together to collect donations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin islands, which will be shipped off Monday.

“A lot of the communities outside of San Juan are really having issues," said Ilene Adams, of Art Synergy. "We’re really working to deliver them to the Western communities there and to the people that still have no water and no food because that’s really been the struggle.”

Donations are being collected at the Boynton Beach Art District on Industrial Avenue until 10 p.m. Sunday.

Supplies donated Sunday afternoon at another drop off location at the Palm Beach Outlets nearly filled up a large moving truck.

Organizers said what the islands really need more of are sani-wipes, bug spray, citronella candles, sternos with waterproof blue tip matches, flashlights with extra batteries and solar chargers. They're also collected non-perishable food and water.

"What they’ve been asking us more than anything else is for bug control," said Rolando Chang Barrero, of Art Synergy and founder of the Boynton Beach Art District. "They’re having really big problems. There’s a lot of stagnant water.

United Way of the U.S. Virgin Islands will get the supplies to the Virgin Islands by boat via shipping containers Monday through the Port of Palm Beach.

"We already have individuals, United Way volunteers and staff, on the ground to receive those items from the containers and they’re going directly to the people of the Virgin Islands," said Aquannette Tyson Thomas, a volunteer for United Way of the U.S. Virgin Islands. "They’re not being stored in a warehouse. They’re going to the people."

Airplanes secured through rotarians in Boca Raton will be filled up with supplies Monday to go to Puerto Rico.

People on the ground there are ready to take it straight to those in need.

"My whole effort is to make sure that it gets from truck to plate from arrival to the plates immediately," Chang Barrero said.

Financial donations can be made to United Way of the U.S. Virgin Islands or the United Way of Palm Beach County.

If anyone still wishes to donate supplies, email Aquannette Tyson Thomas at