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Arlington Puerto Rico Donation Drive Closes After Overwhelming Support

An Arlington County site for people to donate items to hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico closed in just two days after overwhelming support.

Volunteers throughout the region are gathering supplies for United for Puerto Rico, a charity that provides aid to those on the island affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The hurricanes caused a loss of power throughout Puerto Rico, as well as extensive damage and flooding. Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello said it could take months for power to be restored in some areas.

But after filling eight trucks with supplies in just two days, Arlington’s collection point, Grace Community Church (1031 N. Vermont Street) in Ballston, is no longer taking donations. The effort’s organizer, Mariana Vicens, announced the news in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“Yesterday we packed two trucks and today we packed SIX!” Vicens wrote. “It was an incredible day full of support, love, encouragement, solidarity, and pure bliss! My heart is filled with love and I am so so so thankful for each and every one of you… from the people setting up and cleaning up at the end, the children distributing water and food, the packers, movers and greeters, the runners, the truckers, the people that cooked, the assembly line… you name it!!!”

(Vicens did not respond to requests for further comment.)

Photos from Sunday’s donation show legions of volunteers packing boxes to send to Puerto Rico, as well as non-perishable food and bottled water. Those wishing to donate have also been able to do so online through an Amazon wish-list. Other locations in the area are still accepting donations, which are then sent to the island with the help of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.

Meanwhile, Dogma Bakery (2722 S. Arlington Mill Drive) in Shirlington is accepting pet supplies and cash to donate to Puerto Rico, including food, collars, leashes, dog beds and crates.

And in Falls Church on Saturday, the group Circulo de Puerto Rico will be collecting personal care items, non-perishable food and monetary donations during an “#SOSDC4PR” event at The Locker Room Bar & Grill (502 W. Broad Street).

“Bring your donations and stay over to cheer each incoming contribution. Bring you musical instruments and noisemakers to celebrate when donations come in!” said the event’s registration page. “The Locker Room will donate 15% of the food and drink sales during the event to the hurricane victims. Please share this information with as many people as you can.”

Photos via Facebook.

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