Hurricane Maria Relief Is Coming From Brainerd
After only a few short days of collecting donations at CLC, Claribel Severson is blown away by the support from the community.
“Brainerd is my new home and I consider this my home, but Puerto Rico is also my home, and when I see the home where I live reaching out to the home where I grew up, it’s very meaningful to me,” said Severson.
Ever since the hurricane hit, she knew that even in Minnesota she wanted to extend a helping hand.
“When I saw the damage and I saw the need, I felt helpless,” said Severson.
She reached out to Central Lakes College and their newly founded Civic Engagement club to help collect donations.
“I’m happy that she is happy, I’m glad for her and her family and glad for the town that this stuff is going to,” said Civic Engagement Advisor David Kobilka.
Donation boxes can be found inside of nearly every door at Central Lakes College for anyone to come in and drop off donations from the list.
“Think about your house being blown away, completely blown away and everything and everything on the inside being blown away, and that’s the kind of emergency sort of stuff that we are hoping to provide for people,” Kobilka said.
Severson contacted the mayor of her hometown, Aguas Buenas, and her brother, who is the police chief there. After waiting several days for a response, she received a list of necessary supplies.
“My sister told me it was very scary; she lost 3 of her doors because the hurricane actually blew them out. I can’t even imagine what they went through,” Severson said.
Nearly 3,000 homes in Aguas Buenas were completely destroyed.
“It’s hard to see the images, it’s very difficult for me because I know what it looks like, normally,” Severson said.
Even weeks later, items like toothbrushes, towels and soap are extremely hard to come by. But in just over a week many new supplies from Brainerd will arrive, and Severson is forever grateful.
“I feel like I’ve been embraced, my culture has been embraced and my family,” Severson said.
The last day to donate items will be on Monday, October 16th.
Items to Donate:
- Dry Goods (Food)
- Canned Foods
- Baby Formula
- Personal Hygiene Products (deodorant, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc)
- Over the Counter Medication (ibuprofen, Tylenol, allergy medication, etc)
- First Aid Kits
- Feminine Products
- Sleeping Bags/Inflatable Marrress
- Baby Wipes
- Linen (sheets, pillow cases)
- Pet Food
If you would like to give a cash donation to help ship the supplies down to Puerto Rico, message their page on Facebook (Civic Engagement Club CLC – Hurricane Maria Drive) for additional information.