Overwhelmed by response, Springfield closes Puerto Rico collection centers

The collection was supposed to run through Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After an outpouring of community support, the City of Springfield had to stop accepting relief items bound for Puerto Rico.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno on Tuesday closed the city’s six Puerto Rico hurricane relief collection sites due to the volume of donations.

Donated items were picked up from the Mason Square Library earlier in the week, but people continued to bring goods for Puerto Rico.

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Mason Square Library Youth Services Librarian Ellen Sulzycki told 22News, “It did fill up almost our whole back work room. Community members, library patrons donated. It really did make our hearts feel so big to be a part of the city wide initiative.”

The collection was supposed to run through Friday, but the rooms filled up with donated food, water, and other necessities.

Photo Courtesy: Caitlin Kelley, Mason Square Library Branch Supervisor

Many people in Springfield have a personal connection to Puerto Rico. Residents said it probably inspired many of the donations.

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Mayor Sarno said the city is working with “Western Mass United for Puerto Rico” to package and prepare the items for shipment to those who need them.

“It’s very sad,” Enrique Rivera of Springfield said. “It’s life, it’s nature. It’s very sad, Puerto Rico is destroyed right now.”

Mayor Sarno said the city is still accepting monetary donations.