Central Florida organizations begin collecting aid for Puerto Rico

ORLANDO, Fla. — With the damage left behind by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico more devastating than most people predicted, Central Florida organizations are beginning to ramp up their responses to aid the island.


In Kissimmee, the de facto headquarters of the region’s Hispanic population, staff members with the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida began accepting donations for the island – and the people fleeing it.

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“We don’t expect people to bring food and water because that is easily accessible,” Jorge Figueroa, the Chamber’s president, explained. “One of the things that we’re focusing on is on items that work with solar energy [in case people run out of gas to power their generators.]”

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Because so many of the territory’s residents have family and friend ties to the Orlando area, Figueroa said they’re watching for an influx of visitors arriving at the airport.

He’s not the only one leading the charge. He had strolled in from a Zoom conference with community leaders across the nation, most importantly in Washington. That had been preceded by a day of meetings and phone calls with religious and community representatives from across the region and political officials on the island.

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“We want to be strategic, and make sure that we have a real impact with the things and the areas that are a really pressing need for our people back in Puerto Rico,” he explained.

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