Local Hispanic church is collecting items for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico

SAVANNAH, GA- El Santuario de Savannah is collecting items for hurricane victims and their families in Puerto Rico.

Much of the island is still without water and power nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria. Only twelve percent of the island has electricity and forty percent has running water. Although most gas stations and grocery stores are now open, there is still a desperate need for basic supplies in remote areas.

More than 75 percent of the church at El Santuario de Savannah have ties to Puerto Rico. Pastors Frank and Carla Ruiz told News 3 they are putting their prayers into action.

“The scripture tells us in Matthew that Jesus is very emphatic about those that are hungry give them food, those that are naked give them clothing, so we feel as a church that that is our duty to help our fellow man,” said Pastor Frank Ruiz.

The Hispanic Ministry is collecting nonperishable food, water, toiletries and paper goods. Also, volunteers are crossing out bar codes to ensure that the items fall into the right hands. The church is teaming up with NRAM Collision Center in South Carolina, to provide an additional truck for people in need.

Pastor Ruiz, a U.S. Army Colonel who retired in 2015 after serving 34 years as a dentist, views the church volunteers as soldiers for the people in Puerto Rico.

“All these boxes that you see, all the donations have come from people in the community, so that means they’re opening up their hearts, they’re giving up themselves to be able to help Puerto Rico. Of course, it requires a lot of work, but in the end, it’s going to be very beneficial for the people,” said Ruiz.

El Santuario de Savannah will be collecting items the next two weeks, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The church is located at: 8912 Whitfield Avenue, Savannah. If you would like to make a donation, you may also call: 912-755-0709.

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