Hearts with Hands asking for donations to be sent to hurricane v - FOX Carolina 21

Hearts with Hands asking for donations to be sent to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico

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Hearts with Hands needed supplies. (Source: Hearts with Hands) Hearts with Hands needed supplies. (Source: Hearts with Hands)
SWANNANOA, NC (FOX Carolina) -

More than 60 volunteers quickly packed up donated supplies Sunday evening. Hands were reaching in and out of the food boxes, but if you scanned through the lines there was one man who turned heads.

"I sit down every night and I eat, I have clean clothes and I want all of them to have it too," said Volunteer Ronnie Delerme.

Delerme lives in Buncombe County now, but he's a native of Puerto Rico. His whole family still on the island and he said it's been more than three weeks since he's talked to his parents, or heard from his family.

"I spoke to my sister for only one minute to ask how my Mama and Papa are doing,” Delerme said.

The volunteer said he desperately wants to help get food and vital supplies to his family. He said it's heartbreaking to see the destruction. Hurricane Maria leaving his home in shambles.

"It's mentally hard, you see people who worked all these years on houses and now everything is destroyed,” Delereme said. “We need to help them, especially the children."

With communication lines down, he said it's hard to help. When he heard that Hearts with Hands was shipping supplies to Puerto Rico, he was the first one in line to help pack up boxes.

Delerme was stationed at the end of the assembly line, finishing up the boxes and passing them off to be stacked onto pallets. What happens next with those pallets took a lot of planning.

"They are going to drive all night long to get those to Florida and to get those down to the hands of the folks that are going to take it down on the cargo plane,” said Greg Lentz with the organization. “And then fly over for us this week and get it into the hands of folks in Puerto Rico."

The warehouse was full of 2,400 food boxes, plus pallets of hygiene and baby kits. Lentz said phone calls prove how desperately the island needs these supplies.

"Even the workers at the airport have no food,” Lentz said. “They have no water, they have no hygiene supplies."

Delerme said if he can't communicate with his family, the least he can do is help pack boxes hoping they make it to his parents and sister.

"To my mama who's been sick, I hope you get everything that you need to get through it and I love them much," Delerme said. 

The disaster relief organization is still collecting donations to be sent to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

Donations can also be dropped off between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Buncombe County location, located at 850 Warren Wilson Road in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

The organization will be sending the donations by charter flight to Puerto Rico. They will also send at least one shipment by water.

Here is the full list of needed supplies:

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