After three weeks of collecting, labeling and stacking supplies, the Puerto Rican Society of New Britain and the Boriqueneers Motorcycle Club have more than 40 pallets of donations to deliver to Brooklyn, New York and they now have a way to get them there for the National Guard to pick up.
As soon as the story about the groups not having a way to get the supplies to New York aired on NBC Connecticut, Meriden-based Tradebe Environmental Services decided to donate tractor-trailers and provide drivers, to get the donations to New York.
Sarah Kowalckyk, of Tradebe, picked up the phone immediately to put the mission in motion.
“I reached out to our DOT person and said, ‘Is there anything that we can do?’ He immediately got back in touch with me and we got it coordinated. It’s the way the community needs to work together to make this happen, and we were able to help,” she said.
Maggie DeJesus, president of the Puerto Rican Society of New Britain, said the gesture means the world to the community and their families stuck on the island.
“To me, it was a sense of relief,” DeJesus said. “Just to be able to do something like this, for her to reach out to us, it’s an amazing thing.”
Hundreds of bottles of water and canned goods later, two tractor-trailers were on their way.
Maggie said she’s received calls from other companies offering to help and she’s recommended those resources to state legislator Minnie Gonzalez, who is also heading donation collections.
“I’m just hoping and praying that our people would get to get this stuff,” DeJesus said. “That they don’t wait forever to get these meals, the food and the water. I’m very grateful and I’m very lucky. I don’t like to use the ‘lucky’ word, but I think we have been very blessed.”