New Yorkers step up to help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona

From his work on cars to caring for those in need: Jose Gonzalez is now lifting spirits.

The owner of New York Auto Detail in Bay Shore co-founded Jibaritos with Troops, a grassroots organization that shipped more than a million pounds of supplies to people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit back in 2017. In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, volunteers are back at it again. 

"We have more important work to do — collecting stuff to help the Island," Gonzalez said. "The island can't hold any more water."

Staff Sgt. Amee Hernandez met Gonzalez five years ago and co-founded Jibaritos with Troops.

"They're still trying to recover and all of a sudden this happened again," Hernandez said. 

They're using their family ties to get supplies and monetary donations to the island that is without electricity.

"Socks, flip-flops, women's and baby products, canned foods," she said. 

The nonprofit will be collecting food and other items this week. With help from DHL, they plan to ship it to Puerto Rico at the beginning of next week. Distribution to those in need will immediately follow.

With help from other nonprofits like Pronto Long Island, they plan to fill hundreds of boxes. They vow to put work on pause as they do their part to help Puerto Rico.

"I'm good. I'm alive," Gonzalez. "I want to continue with my team to do whatever we can to help."