Donated supplies for Puerto Rico stuck in Tampa storage facility

Posted at 11:11 PM, Nov 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 23:23:23-05

A truck load of supplies is packed and ready to be shipped to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, but remains stuck in a Tampa storage facility. 

Christian Velazquez has collected more than 600 cases of water and six pallets of clothes since posting a plea for help on Facebook in mid-September. 

"It was very, very sad," said Velazquez. "Seeing my people suffer like, they're suffering right now."

Tampa Bay area churches and law firms have contributed enough goods to fill up three storage units at ExtraSpace Storage in Tampa. 

"We couldn't handle it and it's too much and we stopped collecting," he said.

Those donations are left stuck, sitting in storage more than 1,000 miles away from the people who need them. 

"Makes me feel uncomfortable, I don't sleep at night. I mean, this is the back of my head, like knocking and knocking every single day," he said.

The problem is Velazquez and a group of local business owners have not come up with enough money for shipping. 

They'reraising funds through selling t-shirts, but are still in need of a few thousand dollars. 

"I got all this stuff here and I cannot let it go, I need to take this to Puerto Rico," he said.

The Army officer says he won't sleep until the storage units are empty. 

"Like they say in the Army, you got to drive on."