The Utica and New Hartford Rotary Clubs gathered at the Yahnundasis to help make over fifty families days be merry and bright. (Singing: May your days be merry and bright…) They’ve collected winter clothing for these US citizens who had to evacuate Puerto Rico after last year’s deadly hurricane, and ended up in the Utica area. New Hartford Rotary President, Rev. Dr. Mary J. Webster talked about what they were up against.
"How many of the Puerto Rican brothers and sisters who came with just the cloths on their backs, and they were in need of winter apparel. So we thought it was a good idea."
Winters in Utica can certainly be chilly and sometimes just plain cold, so the Rotary Club is trying to make sure these families ring in the New Year with some warm cloths.
"Well it’s a very warming feeling, and that’s what we Rotarians do, so this is what we do and this is who we are- is about helping others."
Sonia Martinez is the President of the Mohawk Valley Latino Association. She’ll be distributing the clothing to the families now living in the area, and for her it can get emotional.
"I get very teary eyed when people call me and say we have some things for you to give to these families, so I’m very proud of my community and very happy and excited that we’re able to help everyone."
Although it’s been over a year since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Sonia Martinez says there are still families coming to the area, and the need for winter clothing is ongoing. She said families are asking for help on a weekly basis.