Locals help fellow Americans in Puerto Rico with hurricane relief efforts

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Here's what House Majority Leader Paul Ryan says about efforts to help Puerto Rico with the devastation of Hurricane Maria:

"We've got to do more to help Puerto Rico rebuild its own economy. At the moment, there's a humanitarian crisis that has to be attended to, and this is an area where the federal government has a responsibility, and we're acting on it."

Then there's the tweet from President Donald Trump, which in part says FEMA and the DOD are not going to be there forever, and the whole point is to start to work yourself out of a job and transition to the rebuilding process.

In contrast, President Trump hasn't publicly indicated any pull back in support for sections of Texas and Florida that were hit by hurricanes.

But locally, support for the island is strong. Donations are just pouring in for Puerto Ricans who have lost everything to Maria.

"Tremont is a really tight-knit community and we know a lot of those villages down there are the same."

Mark Bailey and some of his staff at the Hi and Dry in Tremont decided to get their ducks in a row to help their fellow Americans by bowling for Puerto Rico. They know the need is great and that every little bit helps in a country that was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Bailey says, "Lets give away some raffles cards, giveaway games, different prizes. Our chef put together some nice, authentic Puerto Rican dishes for the night. We just kind of wanted to do anything we could to get paper towels, clothes, bug spray, flashlights, batteries, anything that you and I would need on a day-to-day basis that they can't get access too."

They put together a bowling tournament of 16 teams of two at a cost of $25 a person. All the money and supplies are going to aide relief. That's why Erin Roddy and Amanda Bruening joined the humanitarian efforts at Hi and Dry Bowling in Tremont.

"One of my best friends Amanda lives down here. So, we figured it would be a good idea to come here and donate our time and what we can," says Roddy.

Her friend Amanda Bruening also came to support and give.

"I decide to come down and donate today cause why not. It's something small and easy that you can do that can make a big impact on somebody's life and they're obviously in need of help right now and how can you say to people that need help?

"People in the service industry, we really feel helpless. So to be able to do anything small even and to know Lydia has connections to the smaller villages there, it really makes us feel like we can really do something."

The federal government is there helping for now, but as you've heard, President Trump says FEMA relief efforts can't stay there forever.

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