NORTH PHILADELPHIA - Relief efforts are underway, both in Puerto Rico and in Philadelphia and, as passengers arrive in Philadelphia from the island, grassroots members meet to announce plans to help those in need, after Hurricane Fiona flamed the island earlier in the week."We decided to go to San Juan for a last two days before we flew back on Sunday morning, but Saturday night they told us our flight was cancelled," John Paul said.Paul has a home in northeast Puerto Rico and said he lost power and running water.
He said people in south and southwest Puerto Rico were hit the hardest, including a friend whose home was devastated by flooding.RELATED HEADLINES:"Her whole house got flooded," said Paul. "The couch, her bed and her room, everything, just filled with water and mud."Five years ago, 45 nonprofits united as a grassroots collaborative called "Unidos Pa’ PR" to raise awareness, collect donations and provide direct support to people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.Now the organizations are coming together again to provide relief after Hurricane Fiona.Community leaders gathered outside the Association of Puerto Ricans on the March (APM) in North Philly on Wednesday afternoon to share how people can get involved with relief efforts."We just weren’t focused on big entities in Puerto Rico, we were literally connecting with fishermen, local churches and people who need the exact money to get things done immediately, and that’s what we intend to do again," said Adonis Banegas, the CEO of Concilio.RELATED HEADLINES:Concilio is a social services organization that is part of UNIDOS PA’ PR and the fiscal manager of donations being collected.