Family needs help sending relief to Puerto Rico

A Forsyth County family launched a huge donation drive to collect about 100 boxes full of supplies for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. They ran into a snag when it was time to ship the boxes out, so now they are turning to the public for help.

The boxes of donated food, water, household supplies and hygiene items were scheduled to be delivered to families in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico Saturday.

"They lost electric, they lost power, they lost water, " said Sylvia Velez, one of the women who organized the hurricane relief effort.

The Forsyth County woman and her sister, Ada Cario, spearheaded the massive donation drive to help their parents and other family members in the northwest coastal town of Isabela. They received an overwhelming response from area residents donating hundreds of items to the hurricane relief effort.

"It's a shame that we've done all this work to help about 25 families and now we're here back to square one. It's very disappointing, very disappointing, " Cario said.

They are back to square one after learning last weekend that the original price they were quoted wouldn't cover the entire shipment of about 100 boxes and several generators.

"We checked a couple of companies and it's going to cost about $8,000 to ship all of this and it's just too much we don't know what to do. We're stuck now, out of ideas and out of options," said Cario.

The family is making a public appeal in hopes the same community that answered their call for aid will now help ensure hurricane victims get the help they so desperately need by donating money for the items to be shipped to Puerto Rico. They've set up YouCaring and GoFundMe pages to help collect funds.

Despite the setback, the family hopes to have all the boxes shipped out by the end of the week.

If you wish to help, you can donate at or