Local alliances help Puerto Rico

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017
News12 at 6 o'clock/ NBC 26 News at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Military members from around the country are still in Puerto Rico cleaning up after the hurricanes. Local National Guard members and a nonprofit organization are a part of that effort.

News 12/NBC 26 Alexa Lightle spoke with a soldier from Edgefield who says the cleanup is slow but with each day, Puerto Rico improves.

The South Carolina National Guard is cleaning up roads in Puerto Rico and local nonprofit, Georgia Lina is taking donations to send over. Two entities working tirelessly to lend a hand, needless to say, it's taking an army to rebuild Puerto Rico.

PFC James Aldsworth with the South Carolina National Guard told Alexa, "We've been making missions for the Puerto Rican roads to go out and clear them, to make sure they're safe, and make sure there is no debris in them."

When South Carolina National Guard soldiers first arrived in Puerto Rico it was not good.

"You had mudslides everywhere, power poles on the ground, and power lines across the road, you had chunks of the road missing it was just horrible", PFC Aldsworth explains.

And blocked roads have made receiving supplies extra difficult. Georgia Lina volunteer Abimael Ayala has family in Puerto Rico and wants nothing more than to assist in the effort to help those who are struggling there, "When I talked to my brother he said we can receive a box of food today and then three days later we don't receive anymore so it's so slow that we need to help and be more efficient with that."

With a desire to help, Georgia Lina, a local nonprofit, was created. It's a group in the CSRA collecting supplies to bring to Puerto Rico.

"It's our responsibility to take charge and to rebuild Puerto Rico to help and to let them know they're not alone we're there for them", said Ed Acevedo, Georgia Lina volunteer.

But even with all the help, there is still more to do. Cristell Reyes understands the long road ahead, she is yet another Georgia Lina volunteer, "It'snot going to take a couple of months, this is going to take probably two to three years to build up because it's completely destroyed."

During this tough time, the Puerto Ricans spirits are still high. They thanked National Guard soldiers for their hard work by giving them a Paranda, which is Christmas music. In the end, it's the "thank-you's" that make the job worth it for all the soldiers.

PFC Aldsworth explains the outpouring of gratitude that he and other soldiers receive from locals in Puerto Rico,"Every time we go out they'll stop us and they'll thank us over and over and over even if they've seen us like five-ten minutes ago they come back they'll stop and thank us again."

The South Carolina National Guard says they will be in Puerto Rico as long as they are needed and until missions are completed.


Collections that Georgia Lina is accepting