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Elkhart medic talks volunteer work in Puerto Rico

ELKHART, Ind.-- An Elkhart native is donating his time to help bring aid and attention to the situation in Puerto Rico.

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, leaving behind catastrophic damage and limited drinking water. More than three million Americans are still without power.

The storm cut off most communication to the island but from the city of Caguas, we were able to video chat with Elkhart native Aaron Mishler.

Mishler is a disaster relief nurse with the organization Heart to Heart. His team of ten medical professionals set up emergency clinics outside the city in rural areas where resources are out of reach.

“If I woke up in the morning and my town was devastated by a hurricane, I’d want people from Montanta, or Virginia, or Puerto Rico or anywhere else that’s part of America to come help,” says Mishler.

Mishler traveled to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, before that he was helping with disaster relief in Houston. His team has already provided tetanus shots and prescriptions to more than one hundred people in Puerto Rico.

The former army medic, who is now a full time college student, says the hardest part of leaving home is saying goodbye to his two and a half year old daughter Naomi.

“I told her I was going away for a few days and that we’re going to have a lot of fun when I get back. I miss her a ton, I can’t wait to come back and see her,” says Mishler.

While not everyone can do what Mishler is doing, he says a little bit of help could go a long way.

“These are our fellow Americans. Everyone here is the same as if they were from Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana and they need help. Donate time, your money or even your attention. Just don’t forget about the people down here. They need your attention more than anything.”

Mishler will be volunteering on the island for one more week. But, he says Heart to Heart will be there as long as they are needed. Click here to follow their journey and find out how you can get involved in the cause.

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