Final day of donation drive for Puerto Rico is October 6

Oct 03, 2017

Marion — The final day to donate to a drive meant to aid Puerto Ricans affected by two hurricanes is approaching quickly.

The drive, organized by Marion resident Ixia Bongiornio, will end on September 6.

Two devastating hurricanes have left the island of Puerto Rico completely without power or supplies. Some areas are recovering, while some have not even been reached yet.

For Bongiornio, a native of Puerto Rico with family still on the island, the need was closer to home than ever. Bongiorno is hosting a donation drive the week of October 2-6. Donation boxes are available at Sippican School and also Serendipity by the Sea, at 160 Front Street.

Bongiorno's drive is working in collaboration with a New Bedford nonprofit, NorthStar Learning Center. The center will ship all donations to Puerto Rico on October 17.

The items needed most are: water filters; batteries; baby food, wipes and formula; diapers; dog food; sanitary napkins; portable battery radios; bug repellent; toothpaste; flashlights; Ensure; emergency kits; trash bags; small fans; protein bars; Gatorade; mosquito nets and solar cell phone chargers.

Bongiorno offered four alternative charities for those wishing to give monetary donations. All four charities have a four-star rating on Charity Navigator, an organization that uses objective ratings to find trustworthy charities. The charities are Global Giving, Unidos por Puerto Rico, Hispanic Federation and All Hands Volunteers.

Bongiorno noted that four bins of donations were filled at Serendipity by the Sea on the first day that the drive was announced. "Not knowing how family and friends are doing in a catastrophe of this extent is a terrible feeling. For all your love and support during these difficult times, I take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this community I have come to call home," she wrote in a letter sent home with Sippican School students on September 29.

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