Charleston family delivering supplies to Puerto Rico

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Puerto Rican family living here in Charleston is heading back to their native island alongside all of the baggage and luggage they could haul.

It's all part of a personal mission to help out after the hurricanes.

After weeks of delays, the Ponce, Puerto Rico airport is back open and one family is anxious to head out.

They boarded a 2 p.m. flight from Charleston International Airport on Thursday to embark on their mission.

"23 days later and here we are. We're ready to get there," Ponce native Marie Cruz said.

"Ponce, which is where my parents and family are from have not gotten anything," Ponce native Sharon Doublin said."FEMA has not gone there. No type of assistance whatsoever when it comes to the government which is why my family is going to Puerto Rico. We just got a phone call from parents not too long ago saying they're running out of water and supplies, there's no bread, and the supermarket has no food."

The family teamed up, collecting supplies all over the southeast to bring to the Ponce community.

They're bringing everything from toiletries and bug repellent, food and drink to try to help their community.

JetBlue granted the family free checked bags for their trip to the island.

"Puerto Rico will rise up," Cruz said. "Thank you, JetBlue."

"Our people are being forgotten. Puerto Ricans are being forgotten," Doublin said. "A lot of other airlines are price gouging at this point. JetBlue has been great in that aspect."

They have suitcases, carry-ons, and backpacks filled with as many supplies as they could fit.

Carmen Archie and Cruz are heading to Ponce while Doublin is staying behind to continue donation drives.

"I am still collecting stuff in Charleston. We're still getting canned goods and water to get the boxes ready," Doublin said.

"We're taking what we can and we're shipping what we can," Cruz added.

They're urging everyone to lend a helping hand.

"Continue praying for Puerto Rico. If there are any charity or events that you can participate in, give back to the island because it really needs our help," Doublin said.

For ways you can help out this family send supplies over to Puerto Rico, visit this link.

President Donald Trump issued a declaration of a major disaster on Sept. 20. That declaration authorized funs to be allocated to assist residents of some 50 municipalities including Ponce.

According to FEMA's website, Ponce is one of the areas designated eligible for individual and public assistance as well as assistance from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

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