By Ericka N. Goodman-Hughey | December 6, 2017
Hurricane Maria swept Puerto Rico in late September with unprecedented force. The Category 5 storm remains the strongest to hit the island in 85 years. Families were displaced, businesses were destroyed and houses were hit.
From the moment the storm hit the ground, baseball legend Jorge Posada and his wife, Laura, have made it their mission to help their homeland recover.
"Immediately we knew we had to do something," said Jorge, who played 17 seasons with the New York Yankees. The pair started a fund to benefit Puerto Rico and now considers raising money for the island, a full-time job.
As of this date of publication, the Hurricane Relief Foundation of Posadas in Puerto Rico has raised more than $ 500,000 in supplies and funds, which are continually distributed throughout the island. Its most important route was at the end of October, when they completed a FedEx plane, generously donated by the courier company, to deliver more than 162,000 pounds of cargo, which included water, food and diapers.
"Jorge took the first trip to Puerto Rico, he had his eyes on the ground, he was able to assess the situation and truly communicate what was needed," Laura said.
But water and food were not the only necessities. Laura's father, a diabetic resident in San Juan who regularly takes insulin, served as another call to action. Many islanders were unable to obtain the necessary medical attention, and the Posadas wanted to help out.
"[Jorge and I] transported 200 patients from Puerto Rico to Miami to receive treatment, we wanted to make sure that people who needed dialysis, chemotherapy or other critical conditions could be taken care of," Laura added.
Las Posadas donated $ 10,000 in medical supplies to Baptist Medical Hospital in Miami and, through the association, they are sending essential health care products to the island.
also took advantage of his personal network and gained the support of other professional and notable athletes through an elegant fundraiser held at the Hunt & Fish Club in New York City in November. Former Yankee center fielder Bernie Williams, current Bronx Bomber CC Sabathia and others were in attendance. That night he only got another $ 200,000 for his efforts.
"We only hope that people continue to support us," said Jorge. "People can not forget that Puerto Rico still needs it."
According to the governor of the island, Ricardo Rosselló, the reconstruction of Puerto Rico will cost $ 94 billion. So the Posadas are still taking away.
In early December, they partnered with Acqualina Resort & Spa, a luxury hotel in Miami. The hotelier agreed to donate appliances and furniture of 125 units that are being remodeled. The items will be delivered throughout the island and for those who evacuated to Puerto Rico for Miami. Derek Jeter, Jorge's former teammate, and his charitable Turn 2 Foundation intervened to handle the delivery of the furniture in early 2018.
"We will bring refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, beds, mattresses and even coffee makers for those They lost everything, "Laura said.
With the holidays approaching, the Posadas also have the children of Puerto Rico in their minds. "We want to bring toys for the Three Wise Men's Day, which is [Jan. 6]. It's an important party for local children," Laura added. And through a partnership with Pennsylvania-based toy maker Wicked Cool Toys, they will send 30 gift palettes to the island.
All efforts made by the Posadas Hurricane Relief Foundation are 100 percent donations. The couple personally covers all administrative fees and is not compensated for their work.
"This is where we were born and grew up," Jorge said. "We owe this to our island"