Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with force and left behind a wake of destruction that will take years for the island to recover from. More than three million people have been left without power, the ability to communicate with emergency services in many cases, and the loss of their property and possessions.
After the storm passed and the devastation became clear, the efforts required to get things back to some semblance of normal also crystallized — and it will take a lot.
In the hopes of helping as much as they can, multiple MLB players with roots in Puerto Rico have started fundraising campaigns to gather relief funds.
One is the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina, who was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and has started a GoFundMe campaign to help the victims. The campaign has a lofty goal of $1 million but garnered $103,720 after 5 days.
The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez set up a YouCaring page to help “those directly affected by Hurricane Maria.” In a note accompanying the campaign, which raised $53,539 of its $100,000 goal in less than a week, Hernandez explained the situation and his certainty that Puerto Rico will return from this destruction:
Words can't describe how devastated we feel by the destruction that Maria has caused to our people and our home of Puerto Rico. It could take months/years for the island to recover. Puerto Rico was left completely without power, most lost their homes and have no way of communicating due to loss of coverage.
But we are confident that we will come out of this stronger than ever! Like Puerto Rican's say "en la union está la fuerza" (in the union we find strength). Help us bring strength back to Puerto Rico by donating to this fundraiser.
Any donation, large or small, is greatly appreciated and will go to those directly affected by Hurricane Maria.
-Kike, Mariana & Team Puerto Rico
"Los Nuestros + Ustedes = Nosotros"
Former Yankee Jorge Posada, born in San Juan, has the most successful campaign thus far having already raised the majority of his $100,000 target thanks to nearly 2,000 generous donors — his page describes the storm’s wrath as “catastrophic,” which doesn’t seem at all hyperbolic in this situation.
Carlos Beltran and his wife Jessica are raising funds through their foundation, starting with a personal donation of $1 million, and called what is going on in Puerto Rico “unimaginable.” The Beltran’s campaign is now at $1,146,252 after more than $100,000 was donated by upwards of 700 people.
The Astros organization is sending 240,000 pounds of supplies to the island in partnership with Crane Worldwide, FedEx and the Houston Mayor’s Office.
Beltran spoke about how helpful the Astros have been in supporting anything he needed to help.
Offline, former major leaguer Pudge Rodriguez (also born and raised in Puerto Rico) is working with United for Puerto Rico and will be holding an equipment drive in Irving, Texas from September 23rd to the 29th. If you have materials such as generators, tents, construction lumber, hygiene products, first aid kits, OTC medicine, blankets, bottled water, or clothing you can drop it at 2800 Story Road West in Irving from 9am to 5pm on those days. You can also donate directly to United for Puerto Rico here.
Cubs catcher Rene Rivera and his wife Mariel Perez’s GoFundMe has raised more than $20,000 of a $50,000 goal in the span of a few weeks. They are currently waiting to communicate with the First Lady of Puerto Rico about where the money could be best sent.
Cubs’ star Javy Baez is selling a limited-edition T-shirt to support relief efforts. The shirt, splashed with Baez’s “magician” nickname, should be stylish enough to attract lots of buyers and in turn send lots of help to where it’s needed.
No matter how much or little is raised from these campaigns and others, what’s certain is that every dollar will make a difference as Puerto Rico starts recovering from Maria’s damage.