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Student group raises funds for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

Mariangelis Rosa, a student at Iowa State University, says Fiona is increasingly devastating because Puerto Rico hasn't fully recovered from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

AMES, Iowa — After strong winds from hurricane Fiona battered Puerto Rico and caused power outages to millions on the island, Puerto Ricans in central Iowa are coming together to send help back home. 

Mariangelis Rosa, a student at Iowa State University and social media coordinator for the Puerto Rican Student Association, is one of them.

Rosa is the only member of her family in Iowa.

"It’s really heartbreaking to have to be here," Rosa said. "I feel a little bit helpless.”

The storm made landfall as a category one in Puerto Rico on Sunday, causing flooding and power outages to millions and damaging structures — even taking off the roof off Rosa's childhood home. 

Because of all that devastation, Rosa and her organization are coming together to help their home. 

They're directing people to donate money to national organizations like the Hispanic Federation, La Fondita de Jesús and Taller Salud.

“Right now the best we can do is send money because the material stuff is going to be harder to get there,” Rosa said. 

RELATED: Fiona wallops Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico still stunned

Emily Holley, the regional communications manager at American Red Cross Nebraska-Iowa, said her organization is also helping Puerto Rico. They're raising money, but also looking for manpower. 

“We always need volunteers to help respond to disasters it’s an incredible thing to do to help your community and be on call for that," Holley said.

And Rosa said though the island is struggling right now, she knows it'll eventually better. 

“We’ll get through it,” Rosa said.

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