PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) – With Puerto Rico once again in peril, a community more than 1,600 miles away is mobilizing to provide aid.

“This is not just about Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. It’s about a community that is hurting,” said Paterson Councilwoman Maritza Davila.

Paterson is just one of the municipalities in the tri-state area now ramping up relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricane Fiona.

Elsa Mantilla, the head of Paterson’s Dominican Day Parade, which was celebrated just this past weekend, is among the many now scrambling to help those back home.

“We dedicated this year’s Dominican Day Parade to my hometown, which is right now underwater,” Mantilla said.

Paterson will be collecting essential items via two shipping containers that will be stationed at Eastside High School on Oct. 2.

“Batteries, flashlights, canned food, wipes, things like that. Things that they could use in a moment of need,” Paterson City Council member Luis Velez said.

On what is the five-year anniversary of when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, it’s a recurring nightmare for Carlos Torres, a member of the Elizabeth City Council. He was on the ground five years ago helping his fellow Puerto Ricans get back on their feet. 

Elizabeth was set to celebrate its third annual Puerto Rican Day Parade this Sunday. In what was originally set to be a celebration of culture and heritage is now pivoting to a food and donation drive.

“They need our help. Just come and bring whatever you have. Whether it be a case of water or a can of beans, diapers. Whatever you could bring would be truly appreciated,” Torres said.