GREENSBORO, N.C. -- CaribEx Worldwide is based in the Piedmont Triad, but it has more than 150 employees stationed in Puerto Rico.
They're all affected by Hurricane Maria, and the company is trying to do all it can to help their employees and anyone else on the island.
"The roads are blocked, there's very little fuel," explains Luane Joyce, the company's Operation's Supervisor. "Right now the struggle is just getting it to them."
Luane is hearing the despair first-hand from the few coworkers she's been able to talk to. People are running out of food, water, fuel. It's a dire situation.
"Everytime I've talked to someone I've cried," she says.
It's a relief to hear their voices, but hard to listen to their stories.
"One of our coworkers there is pregnant," she explains. "She lost her baby's crib all the clothes she had bought for her because of the flood and it just breaks my heart."
Another employee, Mercedes Serrano, is in Greensboro, but she's originally from Puerto Rico. A lot of her family is still there.
"I have my brother, my sister in law, my uncles, my aunts and all my cousins," she explains.
Serrano tries to call her family every day, but has only been able to reach on person through a brief text message.
"Only my brother who says 'We're alive. We are fine.'"
The company specializes in logisitcs, and regularly ships freight to and from Puerto Rico. They realize the biggest issue now is access to the island.
"With Florida and Texas, you didn't have to have a boat or an airplane to get there to help them but with Puerto Rico you do," Joyce says. "The average person that wants to help, they don't know how to help them."
So the company is doing what it can. CaribEx Worldwide is collecting monetary donations so they can buy more supplies to send to the island.
"We as a company that has been touched by this, drastically touched," Joyce explains. "We can help and we're trying to."
They say they've already gotten a big response from the community and ask anyone who wants to contribute to send a check for CaribEx Worldwide to their Greensboro offices, located at 4248 Piedmont Parkway.
The company is also putting together a blood drive with the American Red Cross. That's scheduled for Wedensday, October 4th, from 11-3:30 at the the Piedmont Parkway location.
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