MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Much-needed aid is finally starting to reach areas of Puerto Rico destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Still, many on the island remain desperate for necessities including food, water and fuel.
Many Minnesotans are doing their part to help as well, from police departments to sports teams to members of the public.
Ten Spanish-speaking St. Paul police officers are heading to Puerto Rico this weekend at the request of FEMA. They will be doing anything they can to assist with relief efforts.
Meanwhile, the Twins and their fans are staying closer to home, but their actions will reach just as far.
Fans showed their generosity in a big way during the past three games as the seasons wraps up at Target Field.
On Saturday, Marta Chaves helped organize a relief effort for those impacted by Hurricane Maria. Her husband, Kennys Vargas, and three other Twins players have roots in Puerto Rico.
Chaves’ family was also impacted by the storm.
“The good thing is that they are alive,” Chaves told Fox 9. “They are working like everyone in Puerto Rico to find the food, the gas, everything they need.”
The donations gathered at Target Field are crucial. Some aid is reaching victims on the island, many are still struggling to find the essentials.
“Everything that we're raising here, we're trying to go to those places that haven't had the help yet,” said Chaves. “Because they are without communication, or the streets are full of trees.
The “war of words” between officials in Puerto Rico and President Donald Trump over the federal government’s response escalated on Saturday.
...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
...want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
The president firing a series of angry Tweets directed at San Juan’s mayor, who said federal bureaucracy was getting in the way of relief.
Ricardo Rossello, Puerto Rico’s governor, tried to remain above the fray.
“Recognize the important issue, which is helping the people of Puerto Rico,” Rossello said on Saturday. “Everything else is fodder to the side.”
Chaves said she is heartened by the response of Minnesotans so far.
“It’s a start, hopefully we’re going to keep working with all of this,” she said. “Because we need to rebuild Puerto Rico, and we need to raise everyone stronger than we were.”
The Twins will be gathering donations during the final home game on Sunday outside gates six, 29 and 34 through the second inning.
Though all donations are appreciated, Chaves said water and food are the most essential.
President Trump is set to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and also the U.S. Virgin Islands if conditions permit.
We must all be united in offering assistance to everyone suffering in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the wake of this terrible disaster.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017