NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (Friday, Oct. 6, 2017) International Longshoremen’s Association members in the Port of New York and New Jersey collected donations of household goods, including generators, batteries, blankets, and bottled water at the NYSA-ILA Training Center outside Maher Terminals on Corbin Street in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Two 40-foot containers, donated by Integrated/C&C, were loaded by scores of ILA volunteers and then shipped by barge to the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico to assist ILA members there who are recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
ILA President Harold Daggett and his Executive Officers made arrangements with Maher Terminals to stage the two containers at Port Elizabeth on Thursday. The ILA also secured the donation of the containers from Integrated/C&C, a maritime company that is also arranging transportation to the Port of Camden, New Jersey where they will be shipped to Puerto Rico. ILA Vice President Angel Filipe Gonzales and Atlantic Coast District Vice President Carolos Sanchez Ortiz will be prepared to receive the containers at the Port of San Juan and coordinate distribution of the donated goods to ILA members in Puerto Rico.
“The ILA is grateful to Integrated/C&C for their donation of two containers and handling transportation of these containers to South Jersey; to Maher Terminals for allowing the donations to take place at their port facility; to the Seafarer’s International Union for their help barging the containers to San Juan and, all our ILA members who are making donations of household goods and donating their time to help load these relief containers,” said ILA President Daggett.
The International kicked-off stocking the relief containers with donations of 10 generators and 100 cases of water. Other ILA members and locals pitched in by donating generators, electrical supplies, clothing, water and food.
Hundreds of ILA members live and work throughout Puerto Rico, in the major port areas of San Juan and Ponce. International Vice President Angel Filipe Gonzales has been providing daily reports to International President Harold Daggett about the recovery effort in Puerto Rico.
Brother Gonzales described much of Puerto Rico as being totally destroyed.
“We need help,” Brother Gonzales said. “We’re grateful to our ILA members in the United States for providing that relief.”
The ILA’s International and its Atlantic Coast District held their most recent Quadrennial Conventions in San Juan in July 2015, where ILA members from all Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, Eastern Canada and the Great Lakes region experience the beauty, warmth and fellowship with their ILA Puerto Rican members.
“The ILA loves Puerto Rico,” said International President Harold Daggett. “We will continue to do whatever we can to help our Sisters and Brothers there recover and rebuild from this devastating hurricane.”