Annapolis police launch relief efforts for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

WASHINGTON — Donations are rolling in for hurricane stricken Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after a Maryland police department put out a call for help on its Facebook page.

Two police officers who have family in the Caribbean felt helpless after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria slammed into the islands.

Now the officers have joined forces and organized a hurricane relief effort.

Corporal Tania Hernandez-Walter and Detective Jamoll McKay with the Annapolis Police Department are heading up that effort.

“We’ve collectively come together to collect items to send down to the Caribbean,” McKay said.

He said the donated goods will be sent to help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas.

McKay has family in St. Thomas and Hernandez-Walter has family in Puerto Rico.

“We just don’t want to help our family members but we’d like to help everybody that’s been affected,” Hernandez-Walter said.

They launched the hurricane relief drive on Tuesday morning. Since then, they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the public.

“There are no words to describe how grateful we are,” Hernandez-Walter said.

But there is still a lot of work to be done. She told the Capital Gazette they still need baby formula, baby wipes, diapers and also canned items.

According to the department’s Facebook page, the donations are being collected at the Annapolis Police Department until Oct. 4.

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