Restaurant in Tannersville Collecting for Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims

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POCONO TOWNSHIP -- Owners of a family-run restaurant near Tannersville are collecting donations to send to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

The Martinez family is not only collecting donations, but they are also letting their neighbors use their home on the island as shelter.

When owners of El Rincon Caribe restaurant near Tannersville aren't working in the kitchen, they are in a building next door collecting donations to be sent to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

"Right now, there are people sleeping on the streets. Some of them that still have part of a house, are sleeping on floors, anything they have. They are all over the place," said owner Oscar Martinez.

Oscar and Wilma Martinez have family, friends, and their own home in Puerto Rico. Oscar says their home is actually one of the only ones on their block that is still intact so they offered that up, too.

"My house right now is a small shelter. We gave the keys to one of the neighbors, and during the hurricane, they spend their time there and everything is fine."

If you're interested in donating, even just a few items, to this disaster relief, you can find a list outside the restaurant of what is needed. The Martinez family hopes once they get everything collected, they can get it to Puerto Rico as soon as they can.

Newswatch 16 was there while some donations came in by the box and bag full.

"I just saw that they were collecting donations. I went through my pantry and I came right down," said Kathy Pagano.

"They need immediate help in this instance. If you have anything laying around that is nonperishable then you should bring it," said Jessica Miller.

Jose Maldonado from Pocono Summit also has family in Puerto Rico. He says the devastation speaks for itself and he's doing all he can to help.

"It's just sad for me to see the people, what they are going through. I lived through that when I lived in Puerto Rico and this is nothing compared to what I lived through when I was over there."

The Martinez family is now looking for ways to transport the donations to Puerto Rico.

Until those plans are made, people can continue to drop off donations at the restaurant on Route 611 in Tannersville seven days a week.


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