For the third year, we've teamed up with the United Way of Greater New Bedford to bring Holiday Wishes to the Southcoast.

This year we are working to make the holidays brighter for five local families including the sisters Cindia and Vanessa who have moved here from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Sisters Cindia and Vanessa came to the Southcoast after the damaging aftermath of Hurricane Maria devastated their hometown in Puerto Rico. They were forced into one room of their home when the hurricane hit and essentially came out to see everything they owned had been completely destroyed.

The sisters and their kids found shelter with family here on the Southcoast but were asked to move out due to overcrowding shortly thereafter.

The sisters and their combined eight children, ages 4-16, are currently living in a hotel but are getting ready to transition into an apartment. One sister has found a place but the other is struggling to find housing as she has a 4-year-old so de-leaded housing is a must.

The family's biggest needs will be help with food cards, rent assistance and possibly furniture. Both women are also willing and able to work - one was a nurse in Puerto Rico and the other a teacher - and are both going to be taking English classes to make the transition to the Southcoast a bit easier.

To donate, text WISHES to 313131. Your donation will go directly to the United Way of Greater New Bedford's Holiday Wishes Fund.

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