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Helping Dominica: Man with ties to the island nation does what he can to pitch in

LISBON -- The Caribbean has taken quite a hit this hurricane season -- and some people in Milwaukee are helping one of the islands hardest hit by the most recent storm.

The first major casualty of Hurricane Maria was the island of Dominica on Monday night. Stevenson Bellot was talking to his mom on the island in the Town of Scott's Head when he heard something.

Maria damages island of Dominica

"I heard that crashing sound and I said what happened. She said a pole fell on the house. So, she said I got to go," Bellot said.

Stevenson Bellot

Bellot was only able to reach his family again on Thursday morning, September 21st. It's estimated some 15 people died on the island. But Bellot learned his home is intact. His mother's home however, is damaged from the debris of other homes -- and his brother's home lost its roof.

Now, Bellot, along with his church, Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Lisbon, is trying to help by collecting and sending needed supplies -- specifically tarps.

Maria damages island of Dominica

"We're trying to see how many tarps we can get so people can use that for temporary roof, while they don't have a roof over their head," Bellot said.

Maria damages island of Dominica

The area also lacks electricity, so sending batteries and flashlights is essential.

With so many areas devastated by hurricanes, Bellot wants to make sure his birthplace is not forgotten.

"That's why help is very, very important for Dominica right now because the situation down there is not looking good," Bellot said.

A collection for Dominica will take place at the Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Lisbon. Besides tarps, flashlights and batteries, they are collecting non-perishable food items and hygiene items as well. Any monetary donations will cover the cost of shipping.