Brevard group sends relief supplies to Puerto Rico after long wait

By Greg Pallone, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, December 07, 2017, 4:24 PM EST

After weeks of trying and waiting, a Brevard based group is finally able to send much needed relief supplies to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

More than two months after the United Third Bridge began collecting the donations, the supplies are finally on their way.

"My brother lost everything he had," said Nivia Torres. "My mother-in-law doesn't have electricity."

Hurricane Maria directly impacted Nivia Torres' family. Her family continues to struggle months after the storm destroyed much of Puerto Rico — the place she was born.

"They are trying to take it one step at a time," she said. "That's all they can do."

Torres found out about United Third Bridge's Hurricane Maria Relief effort.

The group began collecting donations days after the storm struck in late September. They gathered more than 100,000 pounds of food, water, diapers, formula and toiletry items.

But until Wednesday, it's all been sitting in a warehouse at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport.

They had no way to get it to the island.

Now, better late than never, three big rigs have come in the last two days like Santa's sleigh, loading up and driving the supplies down to Miami, where they will be delivered to Puerto Rico.

Torres views it as a Christmas miracle.

"I'm so happy that my family, my people will receive the help they need," she said. "This is the best Christmas that we can get."

The group said the Spectrum News 13 story about the donations in early November helped get them to this point.

United Third Bridge is also holding a holiday toy drive to benefit children in Puerto Rico. For more information on drop off locations, contact the organization at 321-863-5165.