Pittsburghers help hurricane victims in honor of Pirates legend

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PITTSBURGH - The city of Pittsburgh is on a mission to help the people of Puerto Rico.

On Sunday, Pittsburgh police, along with every day citizens, donated money and supplies to the Roberto Clemente Museum.

Eleven days after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, Puerto Rico's governor said supplies are starting to reach people in need.

But the island is still desperate for more aid and supplies.


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More than 30 percent of people now have phone service and about 50 hospitals are running in some capacity.

President Donald Trump is expected to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

The late Pittsburgh Pirates legend and humanitarian Roberto Clemente was born in Puerto Rico.

The Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh collected supplies and donations for the people of the island on Sunday.

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Hurricanes Irma and Maria, just weeks apart, has devastated the island and left more than 3 million people in peril.

"The conditions are very, very, very bad, desperate. He's asking us to please get him out of there," said Ramon Fontaine, as he was talking about his brother who lives on the island of Puerto Rico with his family. "He has no food, no water, no gas. and desperately needs to get out of there."

Stories like the Fontaines have been front and center since the island was ravaged by back-to-back hurricanes.

The Roberto Clemente Museum opened its doors Sunday collecting supplies and money to benefit those victims.


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A $21 donation was asked with a goal of raising $21,000 as a way to honor Clemente, the Pirates hall of famer who wore No. 21.

"Bunch of people written hundred dollar checks. We got a couple thousand-dollar checks. I don't think 21 is going to be a problem," Duane Rider, the museum's director, said.

The museum was joined by UPMC and Restaurant Depot in collecting supplies like bottled water, batteries, diapers, first aid supplies and more in the museum's parking lot.

Pittsburgh police also got involved, stopping at each of the six zone stations collecting donations.

"These are individual contributions. This isn't like Giant Eagle came down with a truckload of water. These are people from Western Pennsylvania who went to a store, bought  the water and brought it down here for the people in Puerto Rico," Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said.

Two tractor-trailers have already been loaded and donations have spilled into a third.


 

 

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