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WSSU volleyball team collects supplies for teammate’s family in Puerto Rico

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Michelle Murray-Garcia shed tears of joy Monday night, celebrating the fact that she’ll be reunited with her family in Puerto Rico very soon.

It’s something she hasn’t been able to do in months.

“It feels good cause I can just be with them for a little bit,” Murray-Garcia said.

The 22-year-old senior who plays volleyball for Winston-Salem State University will visit her mom, dad and brothers who lost everything after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

“I want to hug them cause I haven't seen them in so long,” she said.

When her teammate's parents found out about her family, they decided to fly her home.

“We're just sitting here thinking what would it be like to be that far away from your entire family cause she's alone,” said parent Steven Smith. “She has no other family here.”

Murray-Garcia says her family has no water, power and is sleeping on the floor.

“They lost everything on the inside of the house, so anything like mattresses, clothes, everything like that, they were messed up," Murray-Garcia said.

So, her team started collecting donations including items like deodorant, toothpaste and canned food which will all be sent to Murray-Garcia's family.

“Everybody just wanted to rally around her and make her feel supported like she wasn't out there on her own," said WSSU girls’ volleyball coach Andi Henderson.

Henderson says Murray-Garcia not hearing from her family or being with them has taken a toll.

"She took it hard," Henderson said. “Her anxiety was much higher."

The senior says that anxiety has gone down some, knowing that she'll be reunited with her family soon.

“Hopefully, I get to see my grandma,” Murray-Garcia said.