"I can't imagine how that feels:" Fundraiser for Puerto Rico and Mexico held in Milwaukee

NOW: “I can’t imagine how that feels:“ Fundraiser for Puerto Rico and Mexico held in Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WIS. (CBS 58) -- It has been five days without electricity in Puerto Rico. Officials on the island say it could be many days more before the power is back on.

The desperate situation is inspiring some people in Milwaukee to help out. A Monday night event at the Wicked Hop came together because of personal connections: bartenders, food staff, even a DJ have relatives affected by the recent natural disasters.

Part of the evening's drink sales are going to a number of different charities. Shirley Aspinall, bartender and manager at the Wicked Hop, says the situation in Puerto Rico has been hard on her mother who has been trying to get in touch with aunts, uncles, and grandparents in Puerto Rico. Aspinall says that they're mostly from Yabucoa.

"There was no way to reach them. Nobody heard from them for like three or four days," Aspinall said.

"[my mother] was trying to stay positive but you could tell there was definitely that feeling of not knowing...it starts to get to you after a couple days go by," Aspinall said.

It was a DJ who organized the event - Romke Eduardo Dehaan says he has family in Mexico City. The benefit is also raising money for earthquake relief.

His relatives - fortunately - are safe.

"Unfortunately their friends, a few of their friends, didn't make it. They got stuck in the rubble. They were texting overnight and they weren't able to further that communication and then eventually found out that they found their bodies afterward," Dehaan said.

"To me, this was just one step that I could make to create the conversation," Dehaan said.

Organizers say that focus is important after a season with so many natural disasters.

"To be stranded on an island with nothing? Yeah. I can't imagine how that feels. A lot of them can't afford to get out of there. They're just there," Aspinall said

Benefitting organizations include Unidos Por Puerto Rico, Unicef Mexico, Center for a New Economy, and OXFAM.

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