Local non-profit collects donations for Venezuela amid humanitarian crisis

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Thousands of miles away from Venezuela, people are hard at work in Toledo, packing and shipping basic necessities to those in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

"My whole family is there, I have to do something," Linda Parra, founder of Nuestra Gente said. "We have to do something, not only for my family, but the whole country."

The center of the unrest: who is the country's rightful leader?

The U.S. mission to the United Nations is calling on other nations to, in its words,"be prepared to take concrete actions" to respond to repression by President Nicolas Maduro's regime.

The situation has caused protests throughout the country.

The United States and other countries say Maduro's re-election was fraudulent and have recognized Juan Guaidó as the interim president.

"People cannot find first aid supplies or toilet paper or food - basic need stuff- they don't have it," Daniela Somaroo, who's from Venezuela, said.

Somaroo volunteers for an organizations called Nuestra Gente; a non-profit designed to help Toledo's under served communities.

Since March the organization has been collection donations that will eventually be sent to Venezuela.

So far, the response has been great, but the big problem is the cost of shipping, sometimes topping out at several thousand dollars.

That price tag, though, doesn't stop the mission, especially for those trying to help their families.

"I would say that my head is in two places at once," said Somaroo.

Daniela says she fears for her parent's safety as they support the opposition groups protesting the government.

"They actually go out and risk their lives just to try and protest for a better future," she said.

With no end to the unrest in sight, the donation drive will continue as long as it takes and volunteers say they can't do it alone.

"We need support from the community. We need support, not only from Toledo, but all over the country," Parra said.

Physical donations can be dropped off at 1205 Broadway near Western in Toledo. Monetary donations for shipping costs can be made on a GoFundMe page set up by the non-profit.