SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As the island of Puerto Rico continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, more western Massachusetts communities are stepping up to help pick up the pieces.

Puerto Rico devastated yet again by another hurricane. Fiona tearing through the island, leaving disaster in its wake. Images of the destruction hits close to home for some western Massachusetts residents.

“I am feeling for the families that are there. People who have family there and are talking to them, everyone is feeling that,” said Jade Rivera-McFarlin from the Gándara Center.

While official estimates on the hurricane’s damage remains unknown, local organizations here in western Massachusetts, like the Gándara Center, are wasting no time to answer the call for help.

“Majority of our staff really comes from Puerto Rico. They still have family on the island, even the staff from here still have family on the island, including myself. So we knew we had to something,” said Rivera.

The center has supported the people of Puerto Rico before, following Hurricane Maria and after the earthquakes of 2020 to give out goods and supplies. While the Gándara Center is accepting money donations for relief, they will also be consistently following the aftermath of the hurricane and the destruction it left behind to best address how the donations will serve the needs of people there.

Rivera told 22News, “We are right now assessing the situation, we are talking to people that we actually have there on the island and we are also talking to state and local officials about what is being done in the city as well.”

From reports earlier Wednesday, over 520,000 people still did not have water access, according to Puerto Rico’s Water and Sewage Authority.