Hall of Fame catcher and former Texas Rangers great Ivan Rodriguez said that his drive to provide aid to his homeland of Puerto Rico has been a success, and he plans to visit the island next week.
Puerto Rico remains in dire straits more than a week after Hurricane Maria ravaged the U.S. territory with gusts upward of 200 mph in some areas. More than half of the island doesn’t have water, and most of the island is without electricity.
While there has been no shortage of aid, there has been difficulty in getting it to many parts of the island. On Thursday, President Trump waived the 100-year-old Jones Act that banned foreign ships from transporting cargo to Puerto Rico.
“There’s been a lot of work,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been great. The cities of Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas, and the whole community, has been great and donating a lot of food and water and generators. Puerto Rico appreciates that.”
Rodriguez said his hometown of Vega Baja wasn’t spared, but his parents survived the storm and are doing well. His parents are committed to staying in Puerto Rico despite the conditions and Rodriguez’s ability to house them in the United States.
He hopes they will join him on his flight back from Puerto Rico.
“It’s something that I need to convince them, but that’s out of my control,” he said.
Rodriguez’s drive continues through Friday. Items — especially generators, bottled water, hygiene products and over-the-counter medicines — can be dropped off at 2800 Story Road West in Irving.
Rodriguez will donate the items to United for Puerto-Unidos por Puerto Rico.