Relief efforts have begun to help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria's destruction.
Massive supply drives are underway, including in Tampa Bay. On Friday, the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched their own relief effort through a charitable initiative called "Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief."
The goal is to raise $250,000 in disaster relief funds. Donations will be directed to emergency supplies, according to a media release.
Current necessities include the following: baby and adult pain relief medicine, baby formula, baby wipes, blankets, bottled water, canned and dry pet food, canned goods, canned milk, chainsaws, cots, crowbars, diapers, dish soap, dry foods, electric cables, electric generators, extension cords, first-aid kits, garbage bags, ground fault protectors, hammers, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, mosquito repellant, pillows, pop-up canopies, rope, safety glasses, shovels, stomach pain relief medicine, tarps, towels, utility knives, wheelbarrows, wood panels, and work gloves.
If you live in the Tampa area and would like to donate items, you can deliver them to:
REALVEST Florida, LLC
3820 Gunn Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
Drop-Off Hours: September 25 to 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on the fundraiser, visit its website by clicking here.
There are other local options to choose from as well. Five local businesses joined forces to form a non-profit called "Puerto rice nos necesita," meaning Puerto Rico needs us.
If you would like to donate, you can drop off supplies at any of these five Bay area locations until October 31:
The Prestige Barbershop of Tampa Bay - Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
105 US-301 #109, Tampa
Los Gorditos Bar & Grill - Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
6110 Causeway Blvd., Tampa
La Fondita de Leo - Monday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
528 Cleveland St., Clearwater
Los Gorditos Food Truck - Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
3125 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa
El Rico Frappe Latino - Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
122 Pierce Christie Dr., Valrico
Items in need of donation: cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products, water, canned food items, first aid supplies, baby products, flashlights, generators, blankets, batteries, pet food, mosquito repellent, wireless fans.
Puerto Rico's nonvoting representative in the U.S. Congress said that Hurricane Maria's destruction has set the island back decades.
"The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years," said Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez. "I can't deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere. The island's greenery is gone."
Engineers on Sunday planned to inspect the roughly 90-year-old Guajataca Dam, which holds back a reservoir covering about 2 square miles in northwest Puerto Rico. The government said it suffered a large crack after Maria dumped 15 inches of rain on the surrounding mountains and that it "will collapse at any minute."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.More