Help! Long Island school needs way to get donations to Puerto Rico

PORT JEFFERSON STATION, Suffolk County (WABC) -- They have donations, but will they travel? The folks at Comsewogue High School in Suffolk County sure hope so.

By Friday, their stage will be filled with donations for Puerto Rico. But finding someone to transport the goods is a lot tougher than you might think.

It is a frequent question from many well-intentioned people who want to make a difference and ensure their donations reach those in need.

Photo/Stacey Sager

"Most of my grandfather's family lives there, and they've been without pretty much anything," sophomore Gianna Alcala said.

The donations are pouring in to the school in Port Jefferson Station, and one physical education teacher there takes it all very personally. Vince Roman hasn't spoken to his 74-year-old father, who lives in Puerto Rico, since Hurricane Maria hit the area.

He has heard through friends that 74-year-old diabetic father is OK, but he hasn't heard from him in days.

"He told me that he's never been so scared in all his life," he said. "And to hear that from your dad, kinda hit home."

He and the 4,000 students in the district are striving to make a difference, and they've reached out to dozens of charter companies. The problem is that all of them want money, between $17,000 and $25,000. The district thinks it can use its buses to transport the donations to the airport, but questions remain after that point.

Photo/Stacey Sager

"I have probably called over 25 to 30 companies," Roman said. "All through Long Island, a couple of companies down in Florida."

Meanwhile, each student is searching for ways he or she can best help.

Last year's outgoing senior class donated their $4,000 surplus to buy donations.

"It's a better feeling for them than giving something back to the school," principal Joe Coniglione saild. "Which is beautiful, but not necessary."

If you know of anyone who can help fly the supplies to Puerto Rico, please email
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