Puerto Rican family reunites in Nebraska

Published: Oct. 5, 2017 at 11:22 PM CDT
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It's a family reunion one mother could have never predicted, but thanks to help of many Nebraskans, she's moving her children and grandchildren from Puerto Rico to Grand Island.

The devastation in Puerto Rico is one of the scariest situations a family could be in, where many have been forced to evacuate a flooded home and into an area, where food and shelter is scarce.

"We took our stuff. What we could. We got our baby's stuff and then we left," said Lia Baze.

Baze said with so few supplies, they practically survived off of rain water.

Back in Grand Island, Emily Aponte felt helpless.

"[The] kids called me. They don't have any water or formula for the babies. I [felt like],'Oh my God, what am I going to do? I have to do something,'" said Aponte.

Aponte did do something. She reached out asking for help; and before she knew it, a distant dream became a reality.

"When they started to donate and help me to buy the ticket flights and everything, so that way I can bring my family here, I feel blessed," said Aponte.

The donations didn't stop with money for a plane ticket and place to stay. Formula, diapers, clothes and even groceries have been donated to the family.

"It felt kind of scary because I didn't know that a lot of people was going to donate stuff. I didn't have a lot of stuff for the baby, so when I came here, I saw all of that stuff. I was like,'Wow,'" said Baze.

There's still a few more uphill battles to go for the family. It starts by saying goodbye to one home and settling their new one in Grand Island.

"We just have to work together like the family we are to help them because the hardest part is the language, but I know they can do it," said Aponte.

Aponte is flying in the rest of her family to Nebraska in two weeks. By the time they come in, she will have helped move 15 family members to Grand Island.

She said it'll take a couple of months for them to adjust, but thankfully her sons and daughters are already finding jobs and places to finish their education.