MILWAUKEE -- The physical impact of Hurricane Maria may be hundreds of miles from Milwaukee, but for some students at Marquette University, the devastation hit really close to home.
About 50 students from Puerto Rico attend Marquette University and worked together to host a relief drive on campus.
“At first it was devastating. I could not get in touch with my family the first day," Cristofer Borghese said.
It’s now been a week since the hurricane first slammed into Puerto Rico leaving behind a trail of destruction. It forced over 11,000 residents into shelters and wiped out electricity for over a million people on the island.
“I have friends and family here and back home that have not been fortunate," Borghese said. "They’ve lost their houses completely, been in refugees [and] still trying to get the water."
It’s the need of those back home that prompted Cristofer Borghese and dozens of his Puerto Rican classmates to act soliciting donations and supplies from anyone on a Saturday who might be willing to lend a helping hand.
“Everything thing that I knew, where I grew up, where I went to school, my house, everything that my mom worked for was just gone," Alexandra Lopez said.
And though this sentiment is one that might be shared by many, the passion among these students is also something that’s shared and the very thing that keeps them going despite the heartache from a hurricane that destroyed their home.
“We just need to come together to do whatever we can to help our people because we are brothers and sisters," Lopez said. "It's time to unite."
Once the students have collected all the donations, they to work with area churches to make sure the supplies get to those who need it most in Puerto Rico.