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WSAA plans ways to help loved ones in Puerto Rico

WESTFIELD – As Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico and caused much devastation, a local organization in Westfield is working on helping those in need on the island. The Westfield Spanish American Association held a meeting on Thursday night to begin discussions on how they can help so many of their friends and family that are facing adversity with the hurricane.

The immediate question that came to mind from committee member Eddie Diaz was figuring out what to do since all of the committee members have family and friends that are currently in Puerto Rico as well several other residents that live in Westfield.

“There’s a lot of anxiety here locally,” said Diaz. “What can we do for Puerto Rico?”

Although the committee all agreed that there isn’t much that they can do at this time, they decided that coming up with ideas, organizing those ideas, and having a plan in place would be best.

The Westfield Spanish American Association discussed how to organize their plan to help people in Puerto Rico with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. (Photo courtesy of Greg Fitzpatrick)

According to Diaz, he has spoken with a number of politicians including Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, who represents Springfield and the 10th Hampden District.

Will Rodriguez, who is another member of the Westfield Spanish American Association, added that he had attended the Western Mass United for Puerto Rico Committee earlier this week, which featured a number of different politicians across Western Massachusetts.

The committee also talked about a way that they could communicate with their loved ones in Puerto Rico. Attempting to find amateur radio operators in the local area would allow people in Puerto Rico the ability to respond so the committee could learn what people desperately need.

At this moment, the WSAA’s website is under construction, but in the coming weeks, the hope is to have it up and running and available for anyone to donate funds for the people in Puerto Rico.

The next meeting for the committee will be on Sept. 27 and open to the public. More information on the meeting will be announced later this week.

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