CINCINNATI -- You helped us raise more than $30,500 for hurricane relief for Puerto Rico through WCPO's telethon Monday night.
WCPO coordinated with Chick-fil-A of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, A Child's Hope International and Cincinnati for Puerto Rico to help the island devastated by Hurricane Maria where more than half of its inhabitants are without water and nearly all without power.
The amount includes a $5,000 matching grant from Greater Cincinnati's Chick-fil-A owner/operators. It will rise as A Child's Hope International finishing counting its web donations from the day.
All funds are going toward raw materials for a food-packing event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at 2430 E. Kemper Road in Sharonville, where A Child's Hope International/Hands Against Hunger will prepare 300,000 donated meals to send to Puerto Rico. For more information on this event, call 513-771-2244.
Also on Monday, Matthew 25: Ministries sent three shipping containers filled with food, water and supplies from Lunken Airport to Puerto Rico. They plan to send six more containers by the end of the week.
More than 200 volunteers have helped the organization "Cincinnati for Puerto Rico" collect and deliver donations from dozens of drop-off sites across the Tri-State, said Armando Delgado, whose parents and four sisters are still on the island.
"We are amazed and overwhelmed by the response we have from people here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. We never imagined we're going to have this much," Delgado said.
He added that they've collected about $5,000 and packed 136 pallets with food, water, clothing, diapers and even gas generators at General Cable Corporation in Highland Heights, Kentucky.
Watch the video below to learn more about Delgado and Cincinnati for Puerto Rico's efforts.
This cause is close to the heart of WCPO reporter Paola Suro's heart: Suro's extended family lives in Puerto Rico. She wrote about the fear she felt while waiting to hear from her grandparents for five full days after Maria hit the island.
About 3.5 million people live in Puerto Rico. So far, there are 16 confirmed deaths as a result of the hurricane. With most of the power transmission grid destroyed, more than 95 percent of Puerto Ricans are without regular electricity service; only 10.7 percent of the island's cell phone towers are working. Nearly 2 million residents are without potable water, FEMA reports.