Mother of El Faro Victim Brings Aid to Puerto Rico - NECN
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Mother of El Faro Victim Brings Aid to Puerto Rico

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    El Faro Victim's Mother Brings Aid to Puerto Rico

    Deb Robert, the mother of Michael Holland, one of 33 crew members killed when the El Faro cargo ship encountered a hurricane, is helping bring aid to people on hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017)

    People in Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Maria, are getting some aid from a mother in Maine.

    Deb Roberts of Wilton organized a supply drive and filled an 18-wheeler with items like sanitary supplies, water, and batteries. The items were shipped to the island, and Roberts went down to deliver them to 250 families.

    "As soon as we pulled in, they were singing," she remembered. "They were so thankful, and so happy."

    It was her first time on the island, but Roberts felt a strong connection to the place and people. Her son, Michael Holland, was a crew member on the cargo ship El Faro. The ship was en route to Puerto Rico when it encountered a hurricane and sank. All 33 crew members died.

    "Getting to the island, I could feel Mike's spirit," she said.

    Her trip retraced his steps, and completed a mission to the island he could not complete. Roberts said organizing supply drives like this one helps her heal.

    "Helping others is what helps me get through," she said. "Doing things in his name is my job for the rest of my life."

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