Fort Worth

American Airlines Employees Answer Puerto Rico's Call for Help

Since resuming service to Puerto Rico last week, Fort Worth-based American Airlines has sent more that 460,000 pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico.

More is on the way this weekend, as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria.

"I live there, but I'm stuck here. They're out of food and water, and they need to survive. The help is not coming the way it's supposed to come in," said flight attendant Jose Santos.

Friday was the final day of American Airlines' Operation: Puerto Rico Strong.

The company's internal program, which ended Friday, gave employees the opportunity to ship thousands of pounds of supplies to the island.

"Even though we are struggling, we as Puerto Ricans, we stay together. We work together and we help one another. That's what's keeping me a little calm," Santos said.

The airline waived size and weight restrictions as well as shipping costs. Many of the employees, like Santos — who donated water, clothing, medicine, and generators — have family members living in treacherous conditions.

"My hands are not tied. I feel like I am doing something," Santos said.

Some people waited for more than six hours as their donations were inspected, packaged and prepared for shipping.

Anna Cobian-Silver said it was the least she could do to help her family members struggling to get by day after day.

"Here we are waiting, but we're waiting to see how we can help," she said. "Unfortunately, that's all they can do."

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