Puerto Ricans coming together to help Puerto Ricans following Hurricane Maria

TOA BAJA, Puerto Rico (WABC) -- Daniel Agosto still has a make-shift stove in his backyard. It's a charred reminder of what happened one year ago Thursday, when Hurricane Maria changed the course of history in Puerto Rico.

An epic blackout and a humanitarian crisis left the 51-year-old cooking outside in the dark.

"Pork chops, chicken - things like that were easy," Agosto told Eyewitness News.

It was people like Agosoto, who on the somber anniversary, are filled with gratitude for the generosity of Puerto Ricans on the mainland.

New organizations like 'Puerto Rico for Puerto Rico' quickly funneled contributions to buy water, clothing, mattresses for helpless storm victims and to open renovated community centers, like the one in Toa Baja.

"In Puerto Rico, there is no money, so if the diaspora doesn't send money to us, we are broke, and the government is more than broke," says Mariacarmen Morera.

Jose Jaen co-founded the locally-based 'hands-on' relief group called 'Mano a Mano.' The private organization used contributions to buy food. In the first three months after the storm, they served three thousand meals a day. The focus now centers on rebuilding.

"There are homes still with tarps, they are still some of them - a few - without power, because they are in hard to reach places," says Jaen.

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